· In my experience I can only truly become defined in my body shape by including aerobic activities like running, rowing, cycling, swimming or skipping into my workout schedule
· From the start I will say personally I don’t see any better fat loss then when I run. I have not experienced greater fat loss and muscular definition then when I run in the morning before I have breakfast.
· That said, lets look at aerobic training methods and what kind of calories you can burn in aiding you in loosing weight and see some abs!
· 1 WALKING – burns approximately 300 to 400 calories per hour – Walking is a great exercise for overall health and fat burning, especially if you are new to working out, have an injuring or are starting off obese as walking is the lowest intensity form of aerobic exercise. However, being the lowest intensity aerobic exercise means walking is also not the best exercise for losing weight and over all achieving a high fitness level. If just starting with exercise as a lifestyle choice strive to walk for 30 min at least 3 times a week – I would suggest even better 6 times a week
· 2 RUNNING – my favorite but not for everyone – burns approximately 600 calories per hour – running is an efficient way to burn fat and improve and maintain cardiovascular fitness. The key reason running is so effective at fat loss is that running is an exercise that is high intensity enough to burn a higher amount of calories while stimulating the metabolic rate for a long period of time. Of course if you are new to working out and training you want to build up to running with walking first as running has more impact on your body – I run 5 to 6 days a week depending on my weight training schedule
· 3 CYCLING – burns approximately 600 calories and uses the same muscles as running but has less impact on the body and joints which is why some people prefer cycling over running. I like cycling as I can change the intensity in a single workout either on location or indoors on a stationary bike. I usually do a 2 minute warm up then raise the intensity level up to cycle hard for 1 min then drop the intensity to cycle slower for 1 minute. I do this for a period of 10 to 20 min. I think you will find this workout an excellent fat burner. Over all cycling can be a low impact, high intensity way to take off body fat.
· 4 ROWING – burns approximately 800 to 900 calories per hour – for a full body aerobic exercise I don’t think there is a better workout than rowing. Through out the year I will mix up morning runs with morning rows. Rowing works all the main muscles of the body but is yet lower impact than running and higher intensity than walking. Rowing can be argued as the best over all exercise for fat burning
· 5 SKIPPING – burns approximately a 1000 calories per hour if you can skip for an hour. Most people don’t think of skipping as an exercise to choose from. Part of the reason for that is skipping is high impact on the body and requites some focus and skill. If you can develop the skill to skip you will find fat loss benefits but I would not suggest long periods of skipping as the impact to lower legs and hips can lead to injuries.
· 6 SWIMMING – burns approximately 600 calories per hour – I use to personally swim a lot when I was training for triathlons but not everyone has access to a pool or year round body of water. Swimming is a great all over body workout similar to rowing. Perhaps most importantly because of being weightless in the the water there is much lower risk of injuring as there is much lower impact on your body. When I swim I use different types of swim strokes to work my body in different ways.
· HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING ( HIIT ) can be the most effective way to burn body fat overall as you are not working out in a steady state like most traditional aerobic workouts. You can apply HIIT to your traditional aerobic workouts like running, biking or swimming as the basic concept of HIIT training is alternating periods of high intensity aerobic work with a lower intensity work which keeps the intensity of the workout shifting. Exactly what I mentioned with my cycle workouts. The benefit of HIIT training is that you can train for a shorter period of time and experience considerable calorie burning and fat loss as well as burn more calories in the 24 hours after and HIIT workout that you will if you train at a steady pace.
· Aerobic exercise not only burns fat which most people are after but including aerobic exercise in your workout routine reduces stress, increases mental well-being, increase circulation through out the body, strengthens your heart muscles and your lungs
· Do enough cardio work to see your desired result but I do caution you about overdoing. Overtraining can lead to injury and of course ultimately not improving your overall quality of life