So maybe you’ve been less active than normal, maybe you’ve transitioned to a sedentary lifestyle or perhaps you’ve never really had an exercise routine before and you want to pick up some new habits.
Fat loss should be just one goal you have as moving your body more frequently can have a large number of positive changes to your health, and sustainable weight change isn’t just about exercise. In this article, you’ll find our top recommendations and some great exercises for fat loss.
Everyone has different training experience and a variety of goals. Because of this, any workout and training plan should be bespoke and relative to your current level of ability. If you haven’t exercised for a prolonged period of time you should consider the changes which have occurred internally, including:
- Low muscle stimulus – Your muscles aren’t used to dealing with high amounts of force. Therefore your strength and endurance levels will naturally be lower than someone who has been training for an extended period of time. If you try to exercise with intensity the larger muscles may not be able to react and provide enough stability for some movements. Thus meaning, weaker muscles work harder, become overstrained and your risk of injury is elevated!
- Lack of joint mobility – As a joint feels a movement it creates a movement pattern and operates in collaboration with nerves and muscles and surrounding body tissue. If you are forced into movements with impact and high speed, again, your injury risk elevates and over compensations will occur
- Ligaments and tendons – Cannot deal with turning and agility based movements. They will become strained and tears can start to appear. They will be weaker and venerable when asked to be strong and supportive!
The overall impact of exercising at the incorrect level, intensity and your ability is heightened risk of injury due to potentially having ‘weak foundations’.
Posture will also be compromised if you cannot maintain the correct technique throughout your chosen exercise. Effects from exercise will be compromised and your motivation may start to decrease as you start to detest the painful aches and strains.
So (hopefully you aren’t scared by this) you should exercise with caution and DO NOT do the following things:
- Copy internet workouts from unqualified trainers
- Follow a premade (generic plan)
- Try to recreate a workout you did years, weeks or months ago
- Participate in high impact activities
What you should do
- Start off at a lower intensity
- Exercise for less time to begin with
- Increase your warm-up and cool-down times
- Improve your nutrition at the same rate
- Make sure you have appropriate exercise clothing
Most effective exercises for weight loss
As we mentioned above, you should slowly increase the amount of work you do. The key to this is to elevate your heart rate (safely) and use exercises for fat loss that are low impact. Such as:
- Walking – Which can be indoors on a treadmill or outside. Try to find a route which is challenging and don’t be afraid to stop, rest, then restart (intervals). This would be more sensible than running because of the reduction in ground impact
- Using resistance machines – Although free weight exercises are beneficial a fixed weight machine offers stability and support in a safe environment. You can mix into your workout some free weight exercises also. But remember, you are trying to stimulate your joints, muscles and nervous systems. So overloading them in the first few sessions is going to create more “panic” in your body than progressively overloading your system
- Larger muscle group workouts – Legs, back, chest, core. This will give you a starting base. Exercising the fundamental body parts and larger areas also burns more calories. Think about the types of exercises you also choose. Pushing, pressing, pulling and rotations movements will improve your overall functional health
- Swimming – The ultimate low impact workout which gives a whole body workout. If you select your pool location carefully, you may also benefit from a nearby sauna and steam room! Ideal for some R&R after
- Dancing! If you want to subconsciously exercise in a fun and enjoyable way, find a local dance workout. Zumba and club-a-cise (to name only a few) have proven effective for millions of people! There are huge social benefits to add. If you can’t dance and want to learn, why not try a beginners salsa class? It’s a great form of exercise
- Mind and body workouts – Yoga and Pilates can also have a phenomenal effect on your health and body fat levels. Lowering stress levels will reduce body fat. Remember, these workouts are no ‘walk in the park’ which is why so many professional athletes choose this style of workout when they aren’t competing. Along with the fat loss benefits you can also expect improvements in your strength, endurance, flexibility and posture
- Cycling – reduces pressure on the lower body but elevates your heart rate and requires your muscles to work intensely. Perfect for what we want to achieve and manageable
Proceed with caution but find ways to exercise which you find fun. Exercise is a lifestyle choice and habits can be formed if you introduce activity in other ways (at the same time) such as taking more breaks from work, walking further or more often, stretching and taking the stairs instead of the lift when possible. All of these changes add up and accumulate to burning more body fat.