As you begin on a regimen of fat-burning exercises, it helps to know a bit about how weight loss works. Within each fat cell are drops of oil made up of triglycerides. These drops of oil are, essentially, the body’s fuel reserves. If you continue eating more calories than you burn, the body continues to store up the triglycerides in your fat cells.
During weight loss (which can be initiated through fat-burning workouts), hormonal triggers cause the fat cells to release these stored-up triglycerides. Then they are processed primarily by the liver to give you the extra energy your body needs to keep up with your exercising.
So for fat-burning workouts to be effective, the above cycle needs to be set into motion. Many sources claim to have the best exercises; in sorting through them, you can discern some common threads to put together an optimal fat-burning workout. Here are some ideas on how to get the most fat-burning out of your exercise time.
1. Intensity versus Length
Some sources suggest that a short, intense workout may actually burn fat better than long, drawn-out hours in the gym. This does seem like good news – many people are pressed for time, and a gym membership is not for everyone. For an intense workout that is reputed to burn fat effectively, try a combination of those old exercises you might remember from gym class:
* Jumping jacks
* Running in place (vigorously)
* “Iron Chair” or wall sit
* Reaches and side-bends
This approach is said to be more effective if you do not rest between exercises.
2. Cardio and Toning
Cardio and toning exercises are said to be a winning combination. Cardio exercises work large muscle groups and increase the heart rate and circulation, and target toning concentrates on the muscles of particular parts of the body (arm and leg curls, weights, etc.). For an effective fat-burning workout, try following 20 minutes of vigorous walking with 10 to 20 minutes of weight training. Or, after 30 minutes of aerobics, work on some specific toning moves like push-ups or butt-toning exercises.
3. Resistance Exercises
Interestingly, resistance exercises actually cause minute amounts of damage to the muscles being worked. As the body rebuilds and repairs this damaged tissue, it builds the strength and tone of the muscle. Lifting weights may be the most effective type of resistance workout, but resistance exercises are really defined as any exercise that contracts the muscles. You can incorporate resistance into your cardio workout by carrying or attaching weights, or add weights to your toning regimen.