1. Exercise for 45 Minutes or Longer
If you really want to kick your metabolism into weight loss gear, you must burn more calories than you take in from food each day. Therefore, a leisurely 20 minute walk on the treadmill is not going to get you very far. Look at it this way, in order to lose a pound a week, you need to burn an extra 500 calories a day. If you’re only burning 200 calories during your workout, weight loss won’t come easily. Stay on that machine for 45 minutes to an hour in order to burn around 500-600 calories. Also, make sure you work out at least 5 days a week, but shoot to fit in some sort of physical activity daily.
2. Practice Interval Training
Interval training is a type of exercise that gives your metabolism a boost and enables your body to burn calories more efficiently. The good news is that interval training can be practiced with any type of fitness you choose. You simply alternate spurts of intensity with periods of less intense movement. For example, if you were on the running trail, you would sprint for 30 seconds to a minute, then jog for a minute or so. You can follow this sequence on a Stairmaster, on a bike, in a pool, etc. Your body will have to work especially hard to adjust to the altering speeds.
3. Engage in Strength Training Exercises
Don’t assume that cardio is the only type of fitness you need; strength training is equally important. These exercises shape and build your muscles, not to mention they support your bones and overall health. The more muscle mass you have, the more effectively your body will burn calories…even at rest! Therefore, don’t be afraid of the weight room, and make sure to consistently add resistance to your workout.
4. Combine Cardio and Strength Training
The most intense workouts are those that simultaneously incorporate cardio and weight lifting. You will burn twice the calories in half the time, and get to your goal that much quicker. There are many fitness classes in existence that include both aerobics and strength training, including the popular boot camp class. The more you shock and stimulate your muscles, the more calories you will burn.
5. Challenge Yourself
In order to keep losing weight from exercising and to prevent reaching a fitness plateau, you must continue to challenge yourself and to increase the intensity of your workouts. If you start out on level 4 of the elliptical trainer and stay on level 4, you will not achieve optimal results. You must progress to level 5 after the first week, and so on. Make sure you are always exercising to your full fitness capabilities.
Remember, in order to lose weight safely, you should only lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Therefore, it will take around a year (or longer) to lose 50 pounds. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up! Keep eating right and keep moving.
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