December 21, 2012

The Best Exercise to Burn Fat Fast

The best exercise to burn fat must combine a number of features. Obviously it must use as many calories as possible. But it must also prevent your resting metabolism from slowing down, and should not bring on hunger pangs which are likely to increase food intake. Sounds simple, but in practice it can take a little effort to find the right program for you.

The first element of fat burning is to use as many calories as possible during exercise. This could be achieved by low level exercise for long periods of time, like the old favourite LSD - long, slow-distance running. Alternatively it could be achieved with a shorter burst of much higher intensity exercise, such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or sprints. The energy burn per minute is much higher with such a high intensity workout. So which is best?

As usual, the answer is not that simple. Long, slow distance-running takes up a lot of precious time, but can burn through a lot of calories per session. However, it improves the efficiency of the metabolism so that, if that is the only type of exercise carried out, the resting metabolism slows down, resulting in a lower overall calories deficit. On the other hand, high intensity workouts are almost certainly too demanding for new exercisers, and even in the experienced can increase the risk of injury and excessive fatigue. The major benefits are that a greater health benefit can be gained in a shorter period of time, and high intensity tends to increase resting metabolism, leading to a significantly higher overall calorie burn.

In practice the optimum for burning fat is a combination - some slower distance work and one or two sessions a week of high intensity training. Slower, however, doesn't necessarily mean slow. It means just slow enough to be able to keep it going for 30 to 60 minutes without stopping. It doesn't mean slow enough to be overtaken by babies on all fours!

Another factor to consider is lean muscle. The objectives of burning fat are usually to gain the health benefit from the improvement in cardiovascular activity and to improve the physique - get some muscles, and then have sufficiently little fat over the top of them so that everyone can see them! This also points to the need to build muscle using resistance exercise as well. Some make the mistake of trying to burn fat by ONLY doing resistance work, but it's very difficult to burn enough calories to get rid of a lot of fat without doing any cardiovascular work. Also this approach does not give such good health benefits as it does not give such a good cardiovascular workout. But adding resistance work to a regular cardiovascular regime is a good thing as it increases lean muscle mass, which not only looks good, but also helps to increase the resting metabolism (and hence calorie burning) giving more benefit for time spent in the gym.

The best exercises for burning fat are therefore a combination of high intensity and medium intensity cardiovascular work (running, cycling, swimming etc) and some muscle building resistance work. This combination burns the most calories overall by combining a high expenditure of energy during exercise and keeping the metabolism as high as possible after the exercise sessions have finished. Variety may be the spice of life but it's also the key to gaining the maximum health and fat burning benefits from the available exercise time.

Article Source: EzineArticles

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