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.
Kettlebell Swings: Another full body exercise, kettlebell swings are my favorite strength and cardio combo. Like boxing, the power comes from the legs while your core is involved in stabilizing your body. Your upper body is in charge of controlling the weight. If you’ve only got 10 minutes to work out try ten 30 second intervals of swings with 30 seconds of rest in between each interval.
Plyometrics: You may not enjoy squat jumps and burpees but you have to respect the power they have to reshape your body. Plyometrics take out the top excuses for not exercising- time and equipment. You don’t need anything but your own body and a good workout can be had in 10 minutes or less. Like kettlebells, you can do 30 second intervals of burpees and mountain climbers and get a complete workout.
Cycling: Leave the spin class behind and explore the great outdoors. The course nature sets for you can be more challenging and certainly more interesting than a timed workout. Pack snacks or a picnic lunch and just ride for fun. Or use your bike as your means of transportation, getting your workout in during your commute. Cycling is also a great non-impact way for runners to held build endurance in their legs.
Is fat loss your goal? Then hop off the treadmill and give one of these fat blasting activities a try!
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.