Cross Train to Optimize Weight Loss

If you are thinking of exercising to lose weight, there are some things you need to understand. One of these is that there is a smart way to exercise, and there is also a foolish way of doing so. A foolish way is to exercise without getting results, either because you are not doing a workout properly or you are not doing it in a way that maximizes the calories you burn. The smart way is to understand, first of all, how your body responds to certain exercises, so that you know which ones to use and when, in order to maximize the weight you lose.

For weight loss, there are three types of exercise that are recommended:

1.  Cardio-vascular exercises are aerobic workouts like cycling, walking, running, or sports like ball games. These typically burn calories as you do them, and they are very good at hiking up your metabolism. Typically, cardio exercises are best when done from thirty minutes or longer, and enough to raise your heart rate by more than 10% the normal rate. Of course, you would not be able to know this unless you have a heart rate monitor in place, but one basic test that you can do is to see if you are getting out-of-breath or you feel some natural strain as you do the exercise.

2. The second type of exercise recommended for weight loss is strength training. Some people who want to lose weight shy away from dumb bells because they believe building muscle means added weight. Indeed, you might not lose as much weight, but at least the weight comes from muscle this time around, and not fat. Plus, you actually burn more calories as you build up muscle from strength-training, as muscles burn more energy than fat, even when at rest. This means that even as you just sit around, your metabolism will continue to be working. Of course, the thing to remember about strength training is that you need to give your body at least 24 hours’ rest in between training sessions, as the rest period is when your muscle cells resuscitate and become stronger.

3. Stretching exercises is where Pilates and Yoga typically fall under. Stretching basically improves flexibility, but it also burns much energy as you stretch each muscle. A common misconception about stretching is that it is only good for warm-ups, when in fact it is one whole area of exercise altogether. In fact, experts recommend doing stretching after your body is already sufficiently warmed up, as it also lessens the chance of injury.

Studies have tested these three exercises to see which one is best for weight loss, but the verdict was simple and common sense: cross-training appeared to be the best choice, as it gave the benefits of each while combating the disadvantages of each one. As such, you can perhaps do them one after another per day in the week, and reap the benefits for your overall fitness!

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