Exercise Your Way Lean
Between yoga sessions and spinning classes, there are a variety of ways to get in shape. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide what sort of workout is best for you.
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If fat loss is your goal, certain forms of exercise can be more beneficial than others. Here, learn about three types of exercise that can help you shed fed and obtain the lean physique you have always wanted.
Instead of running at a steady pace, bump up the intensity and incorporate sprint intervals into your routine to increase your fat burn. In a 2014 study published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, women did sprint intervals three times per week for six weeks. The women sprinted at maximum pace for 30 seconds and then rested for four minutes, completing this cycle four to six times. By the end of the study, the women lost, on average, 8 percent of their body fat.
A 2015 study in the same journal also found that high-intensity workouts contributed to fat loss. Participants who engaged in high-intensity exercise lost a significant amount of both total fat and abdominal fat, whereas women who performed lower-intensity exercise only lost a significant amount of abdominal fat. Whether you prefer to run, bike, or walk, increase your speed and intensity to enjoy these fat-burning benefits.
Resistance training, such as lifting free weights or using weight machines, can increase your fat burn when you add it to your normal regimen. Researchers for a 2003 study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science compared the impact of aerobic training to the impact of an exercise regimen that consisted of both aerobic training and resistance training. They found that the combined training program resulted in greater fat loss than aerobic exercise alone.
A 1999 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found resistance training to be effective for young women. Study participants completed three resistance workouts per week for 14 weeks, and they experienced significant reductions in body fat.
Just the Basics
When all else fails, basic exercises such as squats, push-ups, and sit-ups can keep your body lean. A 2012 study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that subjects who had higher levels of muscular endurance, measured by their ability to complete sit-ups, push-ups, and squats, tended to have less body fat.
A 2006 study in the International Journal of Obesity produced similar results. Study participants who were able to do the most sit-ups and push-ups during a one-minute test had smaller waists.
Complete simple exercises like sit-ups and push-ups on those days when you are pressed for time or cannot get to a gym, and you might find yourself carrying less body fat. Combine this sort of exercise with regular resistance training and high-intensity exercise, and you will be well on your way to reaching your health and fitness goals.