Author: Grace Soong
Estimates show that up to 60 percent of our society isÂ overweight .Â Americans, on average, gain about five pounds a year once they hit that 30-year mark. We all know that the best way to avoid getting fat is to not let excess calories cross those lips in the first place. However, what can we do to help us balance exercise and food consumption?Â Here are 5 simple and easy ways to do that:
1. Cardiovascular Exercise
Doctors and fitness gurus have praised cardio-vascular or aerobics exercise as key to effectively burn fat.Â To achieve weight loss you must participate in at least three weekly cardio-vascular workouts. This can be interpreted into 20 to 30 minutes of intense physical activity that gets your heart to beat at an average rate of 60 to 90 percent of its maximum.Â As a rule of thumb, you can calculate your maximum heart rate by deducting your age from 225.Â For example, if you are 45 years old, your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute; 60 to 90 percent of this would be 108-162 beats per minute.Â The type of exercise isnâ€™t as important as its influence on your heart and breathing rates. Cardiovascular exercise involves working the major muscles of your body in a continuous, flowing fashion. Choose activities you enjoy such as jogging, brisk walking with your dog, biking and dance-fitness classes such asÂ Jazzercise .
2. Strength training
There is a lot of confusion regardingÂ strength training , even among people who train on a regular basis. When you lift weights you challenge your body against a controllable form of resistance. If done correctly your muscles will adjust and grow stronger as it anticipates a more difficult workout.Â Â This muscle growth will take the form of a sculpted and more toned figure.Â Depending on your age and gender, it will usually not turn into big, bulky muscles. Unfortunately you may not see results right away because of that layer of fat that floats over every inch of your sculpted body.Â However, an increase in lean muscle, no matter how little, will result in an increased basal metabolic rate.Â Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you’d burn even if you stayed in bed all day.Â Â Almost 90% of the calorie burning take place inside muscle tissue, itâ€™s logical to assume the more muscle you have — the more fat youâ€™ll burn just to exist. Therefore, when accompanied by a steady decrease in food supply and a 24-hour-a-day increase in demand for fuel this will result in major fat loss.
3. Flexibility Training
Flexibility training such as yoga or Pilates increases the productiveness of the rest of your fitness routine. One, it minimizes injury and recovery time.Â Two, it reduces next day soreness. Three, it improves balance and speed of movement.Â This allows you to carry out more work in less time.Â Â Inserting stretching exercises into your strength training routine will keep you moving between sets.Â This will mean an increased calorie consumption of your workout. Many fitness enthusiasts and body builders, who at one time wouldnâ€™t be caught dead in a â€œplankâ€ pose, now find themselves attending regular yoga or Pilates classes — and still remain lean and fit as ever.
4. Sleep and Rest
Youâ€™ll be surprised at how lack of sleep (or rest) is the cause behind many failed weight loss efforts. Remember, too much of a good thing is also not commendable. When you put together a fitness and weight loss plan, make sure that you get back to normal between workouts. WaitÂ at least 48 hours between full body strength training sessions and cut back cardio-vascular exercises to no more than 3-6 hours per week. Do not over-train. Your body will break down, youâ€™ll lose lean muscle mass (which youâ€™ve been working so hard to gain) and eventually get fatter.Â Go to bed earlier, wear earplugs or do anything to get a good nightâ€™s sleep.Â The bodyâ€™s recovery processes goes into high gear during sleep.Â Get at least 7 or 8 hours of thorough, restful sleep every night.
5. Stress Reduction and Meditation
Meditation has been known to decrease the body’s reaction to stress.Â It alleviates several stress-related health problems. Few people recognize that it can raise the bodyâ€™s DHEA level, an anti-aging hormone. DHEA is a predecessor of testosterone, which is necessary for muscle growth. Unfortunately, DHEA and testosterone levels decline with age. Independent tests conducted on people who meditated daily revealed that DHEA levels were restored to more youthful levels.
On the flip side, stress has also been found to generate high levels of the naturally occurring hormone cortisol.Â This hormone is produced by the adrenal glands. When cortisol is secreted, it causes a failure and malfunction of muscle protein.Â This leads to the release of amino acids into the bloodstream, and raising blood sugar levels.
Any form of stress reduction can balance this hormonal imbalance. Try to visualize how youâ€™d like to look, or imagine yourself pursuing activities you once delighted in. This visualization technique has been discovered to relieve stress and increase your odds of achieving goals you’ve set.Â Â I
f your fitness goal is to lose fat, take these five simple suggestions and combine them with a sensible eating program.Â Youâ€™ll be on the road to a lean, healthy and contented fitness routine that youâ€™ll be able to maintain for a lifetime.