By Pamela Hernandez
When we say weight loss what we really mean is fat loss. We want to workout and eat, in most cases, to get lean and carve lovely muscular curves. Many try to slog it out on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for hours on end to burn fat. I believe there are much more efficient, and entertaining, ways to burn calories and create a lean physique.
Ready to break out of your cardio machine routine? Try one of my favorite (and highly effective) fat burning workouts.
Squats: Weight training will always top my list of fat burners. Your resting metabolism can stay elevated for up to 48 hours after strength training, meaning more calories burned while you sleep or sit at your desk. Squats are at the top of my list because they use all of the big muscles of the legs and there are endless variations to keep you from getting bored. My favorite is the overhead squat, engaging muscles from top to bottom.
Boxing: I have no desire to hit someone but when I want to work up a sweat I love hitting the bag or putting on my Tae-Bo video. Your core and legs (remember big muscles burn more calories) provide power to your punches while increasing your heart rate more quickly than the treadmill. If you really want to sculpt tank top ready shoulders and arms, trying shadow boxing with weighted gloves or light dumbbells in hand.
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Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
If your main excuse for not exercising is lack of money for a gym membership or at home equipment, get ready to put it behind you. You don’t need a gym to get an effective and challenging workout. You don’t need weights or infomercial gadgets. You already have the only equipment you need – your own body.
Body weight exercises are some of the most effective (if you can’t move your own body weight how do expect to lift heavy dumbbells?) and they can be done anywhere (fitting well into a busy schedule at home or on the road.)
I have 5 essential body weight exercises for you. If you do these exercises you will hit all your major muscle groups; doing them circuit style will get your heart rate up at the same time for an extra cardio boost.
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It’s our second to last week in Courtney’s Summer Challenge and she is not taking it easy on us. In fact, she’s turning up the heat a bit. Fair enough, we’ve been at this for almost three months, surely we’re ready to take on a total body workout.
Your challenge this week is SQUATS! You can do them just about anywhere, they don’t cost anything, and they require very little of your time. All of that and you get some serious return on investment… working your thighs, glutes, and even abs (if you’re doing it right).
Join Courtney this week for the squat challenge.
One participant wins a DIR T-Shirt and some Wholly Guacamole.
As goes the economy, so goes the exercise habits of U.S. citizens. According to a Gallup poll, Americans started to let their fitness activities go by the wayside in the fall of 2008. While there was a partial rebound in 2010, exercise levels are still not what they were before they fell.
Gallup based their findings on information gathered from 1,000 adults on their exercise habits. Of those who were polled, 53.4 percent said they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day, three days a week. That was down from 54.3 percent in the same month in 2008.
While that doesn’t seem significant, since the margin of error for the study was one percent, it was more significant with older Americans. The group that saw the biggest decrease in exercise was the 65 years and older group. Less than 50 percent of them said they exercise for at least 30 minutes, three days a week.
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Christina is a mom, registered nurse, and blogger. She fully admits to both a love of too much food and a love of the couch, two vices she struggles to overcome on a daily basis. In the past two years, she’s lost nearly 50 pounds through diet and exercise, some of it chronicled on her blog, Losing My Hind.
Hooray for summer! With school out and the weather sunny and warm, my kids are always begging me to take them to the playground or go do something fun. (Because, of course, being at home is completely no fun at all.) As much as my daughters are enjoying their free time, I’m finding myself stressed out about not having enough time in my day. They may have no responsibilities, but I still have to go to work, buy groceries, do housework, and maybe find time for myself to exercise – all in addition to keeping my two little darlings entertained.
One time saver I’ve been trying to incorporate is taking the time to join in on summer activities with my kids. No, not just sit on the patio while they run through the sprinklers – I mean actually getting up and running through it with them. Think about it: not only do your kids get to have fun and spend time with you, but if done right, you can cross your workout for the day off your to-do list at the same time!
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