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Light Jogs to Lose Weight and Burn Fat
If you've seen many fitness commercials, you might think that the only way to lose weight is by joining a gym and spending thousands of hours on intense, challenging exercises. While losing weight is never easy, the formula for weight loss is pretty simple. By simply burning more calories than you take in, you'll shed fat; the quicker you burn calories, the more fat you'll burn. Regular light jogs can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Even if you're just going for a light jog, a warmup can help you reduce your risk of injury. Try walking briskly for five to ten minutes, and cool down after your workout by slowing down to a brisk walk for another five to ten minutes. Never stretch cold muscles. Instead, warm up before you stretch. You can stretch either before or after your jog.
Calorie Burning Basics
You have to burn 3,500 calories for every pound of fat you want to lose, and the number of calories you burn while jogging depends on such factors as age, weight, and the intensity of your jog. Jogging is more taxing to larger bodies, so you'll burn more calories during your jog if you weigh more. Harvard Health Publications reports that the average 125-pound jogger will burn about 180 calories in 30 minutes. A 185-pound jogger, by contrast, can expect to burn around 266 calories.
Length and Intensity
The two most effective ways to burn more calories are to increase the intensity and length of your jog. If you prefer light, low-intensity jogging, though, the best way to burn more calories is to jog for longer periods of time. If you weigh 185 pounds and want to lose a pound per week without dieting, you'd need to spend around six and a half hours per week jogging. If you're hoping to jog at a slow pace but still want to add some intensity, try jogging uphill.
Amplifying the Effects
You don't have to give up on a light jog to get a bit more intensity out of your workout. High intensity interval training enables you to burn more calories by combining bursts of intense jogging with your usual pace. Try jogging at a relatively slow pace for two to three minutes, then bursting into a sprint for 30 seconds. Alternate between the two speeds for the duration of your jog, and you'll increase the number of calories you burn and the speed at which you lose weight.
Role of Diet
Cutting calories out of your diet can help you pump up the calorie-burning power of your jogging workouts. Eliminating just 150 calories -- or about one soda -- a day will result in a deficit of 1,050 calories per week. Focus on cutting out other unnecessary sources of calories, such as empty calories from potato chips and unhealthy snacks. Instead, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. This can help you lose weight faster or allow you to take more days off from jogging.
A Low-Impact Exercise Routine for Your Lungs
Participate in cardiovascular exercise without putting stress on your hips, knees and spine by utilizing low-impact movements. Specific aerobic activities that require deep breathing in a steady, sustained manner will expand your lung capacity without jarring your joints. Jogging and hopping around are not necessary when floor space, swimming pools, bicycles and rowing machines are readily available.
Knee raises, squats, sidestep windmills and lunges are just a few low-impact aerobic movements that get your lungs working. Dynamic leg motions work against gravity and support the body's weight while bending. They engage a large amount of your body's total muscle mass. This increases blood flow and, as a result, elevates your heart and respiratory rates. Bending your legs slowly actually makes your muscles work harder than speeding through an exercise while further decreasing the impact.
Swimming Laps with Varying Intensity
Swimming involves almost no impact while providing resistance to your muscles as you work your way through the water. Swimming laps at a slow to moderate pace requires constant, even breathing. You can ramp up the respiratory intensity by sprinting one lap and then going back down to a medium speed for two or three laps. This is the aquatic version of high-intensity interval training, but without the downside of high impact on your joints.
Riding High for Low-Impact
Riding a bicycle along a route you might normally jog on allows you to enjoy outdoor low-impact exercise. Cycling is intense work for the leg muscles, much like aerobic squats, so your respiratory rate climbs up the harder you pedal. Once you reach a steady breathing intensity, you can switch to a higher gear for a minute or two. This puts your legs and lungs into temporary overdrive, then you can downshift to rest and repeat.
Rowing for Cardio and Full Body
Pulling away on a rowing machine works your legs, back, core, arms and chest muscles while giving your lung capacity a good push. You can get a full-body workout with no impact while keeping your respiratory rate elevated the entire time. The resistance on a rowing machine is adjustable depending on your fitness level and can be changed without ever getting off the machine to match your desired workout intensity. The dynamic of working all the muscle groups and the lungs carries the secondary benefit of a raised metabolic rate. This will have your body continuing to burning fat long after your workout is over.
Exercises for the Serratus Anterior Supine
If you've ever thrown a punch, or watched one being thrown, you've witnessed the serratus anterior muscle in action. The effectiveness of a punch comes from the scapula protracting and retracting. In addition to being essential for a fight, they're also helpful in flight, as they are used in breathing. They keep the shoulder blades stable and spread the ribs for inhaling.
Shrug it Out
Pec shrugs will isolate and work the serratus anterior. Choose a light dumbbell to start. Lie on the floor or on a bench. Holding the dumbbell, extend your right arm with the weight up perpendicular to the floor. Go straight up with the weight, pushing the dumbbell toward the ceiling, elevating the shoulder blade off the floor or bench, then let it come back down. Work one arm at a time for 10 repetitions. Repeat with the other arm. You can gradually increase the weight to a moderate amount of weight, but nothing heavy. Start with one set of 10 shrugs, and work your way up to three sets.
Take one fairly light dumbbell and lie on the floor or a bench. Put the weight between both hands and bring it overhead. Lock your arms straight up perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your arms straight, bring them back behind and level with your head, then raise your arms back to the start position. If you are on a bench, the weight can drop a little lower when it is behind your head. Start with one set of 10 and work your way up to three sets.
Take it to the Water
The serratus anterior is one of the main muscles used in the supine position when swimming the backstroke. Warmup with arm circles and stretch your triceps and shoulders. Swim six sets of 50 yards of backstroke with a 20-second rest at the end of each 50. Work up to swimming 10 sets of 50-yard backstroke. Then advance to six sets of 100 yards.
Yoga Wheel Pose
The upward facing bow, or wheel pose in yoga, works the serratus anterior, and might work on your courage, too. Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees and put your feet on the floor with your heels close to your fanny. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your head, fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Press your feet into the floor, exhale and lift your buttocks off the floor. Press your hands into the floor and your and lift up onto the crown of your head. Press your feet and hands into the floor, lift your head off the floor and straighten your arms. An easier version is to do the skill while on top of a stability ball for support.
The Benefits of Sprinting for 10 Minutes
Sprinting may not be the most hi-tech, sexy exercise out there, but it’s certainly one of the most effective at burning calories and fat. One of its greatest benefits is the fact that you don’t need 30 to 60 minutes to get an effective sprinting workout. A 2012 study in the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" found that two minutes of sprinting compared to 30 minutes of steady-state, moderate exercise yielded similar results in terms of total oxygen consumption 24 hours following the workout. This study suggests short sprints are a time-saving and effective alternative to traditional steady-state workouts.
Burn Calories in Less Time
While 10 minutes of walking at a brisk pace doesn’t do much in the way of burning fat and calories, doing 10 minutes of sprint interval training, or SIT, can make a big impact on your overall body composition. The aforementioned study showed positive results sprinting for 30 seconds a total of four times, resting about four minutes between each sprint. Ten minutes of sprinting can have an even bigger impact on the amount of fat you burn. As much as 95 percent of the calories you burn with a sprint workout occur post-workout, called the after-burn effect. This phenomenon doesn’t occur the same way with moderately-paced exercise.
Fat-Burning to the Max
Sprinting turns your body into a fat-burning furnace. In fact, SIT compared to traditional aerobic exercise burns about three times more body fat despite the fact you don’t burn as many total calories during the actual workout. The reason is that sprinting elicits an anaerobic effect within your body, helping your body to burn fat for fuel as you sprint. The same benefit can’t be said for steady-state aerobic workouts performed at a moderate pace.
Builds Aerobic Capacity and Endurance
Sprint workouts aren’t just for building speed, strength and burning fat; these workouts also help increase your endurance. Endurance, or aerobic capacity, is a measure of the amount of oxygen your body can take in and use to fuel your workouts; the more, the better. SIT is shown to boost VO2 max – a measure of oxygen uptake during exercise – by up to 13 percent. Within a matter of weeks, a 10-minute sprint workout performed about two or three times per week can help boost your overall endurance for any type of physical activity.
Promotes Lean Muscle Building
Moderate exercise done over long durations – 60 or more minutes per workout – can start to burn muscle tissue as fuel for energy, but that’s not the case with sprint workouts. Sprinting not only builds new muscles but also helps maintain the function of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which gives your body more power and strength.
Sample 10-Minute Sprint Workout
An effective 10-minute sprint workout starts with about five minutes of warming up at a moderate pace followed by some light stretching. The bulk of the workout involves sprinting for 15 seconds followed by a 45-second recovery period where you rest or walk at a brisk pace to catch your breath. Repeat this cycle 10 times to complete the 10-minute workout, and don’t forget to cool down at the end of the workout by walking at a moderate pace for a few minutes followed by some stretching to complete the session.
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