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.
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Light Jogs to Lose Weight and Burn Fat
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 f***y. 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.
Different Workout Poses for Cables
Cables can be used in many different workout poses to get an effective workout. More so than dumbbells and other free weights, cables create sustained tension on the targeted muscle from the beginning of the exercise rep to the end. For every cable workout pose, you should do two to three sets of eight to twelve reps, resting at least one minute between sets. Load the cable machine with an amount of weight that will exhaust your targeted muscle by the last rep.
Sculpted Pectoral Muscles
The Bent Over Cable Crossover will target your inner chest muscles. Set the cable machine up with the cables above your head. Stand with your feet slightly apart and lean forward with a straight back, hinging at your hips. Keep your knees slightly bent. Hold a cable in each hand with your palms facing down. As you exhale, pull the cables together, crossing your right arm over your left in line with your chest. Contract your chest muscles. As you inhale, slowly bring your arms out to your sides in a T formation. Keep your elbows slightly bent to prevent hyperextension. Repeat the exercise, alternating which arm crosses over the other.
Targeting Different Areas of the Pectorals
A Decline Cable Fly is a very effective way to target your lower chest muscles. Set the cables up so that they are above your head. Hold a cable in each hand, stand in front of the cable machine with your body upright and slightly lean backward. To start, your arms should be in a T formation. As you exhale, pull the cables down and together in front of your body so they are in line with your navel. As you inhale, slowly return the cables to the starting position. To protect your shoulders, keep the cables in line with your forearms throughout the exercise.
For sculpted deltoids, side lateral raises with the cables are very effective. Set up the cable machine with the cable on the lowest setting. Stand beside the cable machine, holding the machine in one hand and the cable in the other hand. Lean to the side to increase your range of motion during the exercise. As you exhale, pull the cable until your arm is in line with your shoulder and your deltoids are contracted. As you inhale, slowly lower the cable back down.
Get Bigger, Powerful Deltoids
Another effective exercise for your deltoids are the rear deltoid cable flies. Set the cable on a setting that is in line with your shoulders. Hold the machine in one hand, with your arm at a T, and hold the cable in the other hand. As you exhale, pull the cable across your body until your arm is at a T. As you inhale, slowly return the cable back to the starting position.
Calories Burned With Zumba vs. Hot Yoga
It's easy to work up a sweat during many forms of exercise, but sweating is second nature during a Zumba or hot yoga class. While Zumba uses up-tempo music and dancelike movements to help you get in shape, the hot, humid room in hot yoga can lead to a post-workout glow. Expect to burn a few hundred calories during either form of exercise.
Dance Yourself Into Shape
Zumba classes are ideal for people who enjoy energetic workouts. Part dance, part aerobics and part calisthenics, Zumba classes are a fixture at many gyms and fitness centers across the country. A 135-pound person, notes HealthStatus, burns about 364 calories during a 45-minute Zumba class. Heavier people burn more calories during the same length of time; a 165-pound person burns about 446 calories in 45 minutes of Zumba.
Sweating It Out
In a hot yoga class, you perform a series of poses in a setting that is reminiscent of the tropics. Although you might sweat more during hot yoga, this activity doesn't burn calories quite as quickly as Zumba. HealthStatus reports a 135-pound person burns about 322 calories in 45 minutes of hot yoga. The same class helps a 165-pound person burn about 394 calories.
Strong Body, Relaxed Mind
The American Council on Exercise notes Zumba is a full-body workout that leads to stronger muscles and increased flexibility. The activity is equally suitable for those who wish to lose a few pounds and those who want to avoid weight gain. Zumba relieves stress, is adaptable for people at a wide range of fitness levels and allows you to meet other fitness-minded people.
Turning Up the Heat
Provided you're comfortable exercising in hot, humid conditions, hot yoga can improve your health. The hot room increases your heart rate and often improves the ease with which you can deepen certain poses. Hot yoga can lead to relaxation, deep breathing and improved concentration. Although many people perform hot yoga with the understanding it flushes toxins from your body, this theory isn't necessarily true. In a 2011 article in "The Globe and Mail," researcher Stephen Cheung notes your body releases toxins through sweat only minimally.
Kettlebell Swing Vs. High Pull
Kettlebell swings and high pulls are both explosive exercises that will get your heart pumping and your metabolism firing on all cylinders. Both exercises are effective for building muscular strength and power, and burning fat. While the kettlebell swing and high pull have a lot in common, there are a few differences that characterize each exercise.
Kettlebell Swing Ex*****on
To perform a kettlebell swing, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart straddling a kettlebell. With your arms extended, squat down to grasp the handle with an overhand grip. Straighten your back, stabilize your core, and then lift the kettlebell off the floor by standing slightly. Swing the kettlebell upward by pressing through your heels to straighten your knees and forcefully extending your hips -- the momentum to swing the kettlebell should come from your lower body rather than your arms and shoulders. As the kettlebell begins to descend, drop back into the squat position and swing it back between your legs, and then immediately swing it forward again.
High Pull Ex*****on
For a high pull, stand straddling the kettlebell with your legs wider than shoulder-width. With your arms extended, lower into a squat to grasp the weight with an overhand grip. Straighten your back and stabilize your core muscles, and then lift the kettlebell off the floor by forcefully extending your legs and hips. As the weight reaches your knees, lift your elbows up and outward to powerfully pull the weight up to your neck. Pause at the top of the movement, and then lower the weight back to the floor.
Both the kettle bell swing and high pull are effective for working several muscles throughout the body, but each puts more emphasis on different muscle groups. The initiation phase of the kettlebell swing engages the back muscles, which you use throughout the movement. At the halfway point, the abdominal muscles primarily activate and the gluteal muscles engage for the second half of the swing. The high pull targets the lower body during the first phase of the exercise, but then utilizes the muscular power from your arms, back and shoulders to pull the weight upward during the second phase of the exercise.
Kettlebell swings, obviously, require the use of a kettlebell. You can substitute a dumbbell if necessary, but it might make the swing more difficult. However, you can perform high pulls using a kettlebell, a barbell, a dumbbell or even a resistance band if necessary. This gives you a bit more flexibility so you don't have to necessarily buy a specific piece of equipment.
Due to the dynamic nature of these exercises, they can both be potentially dangerous. It's crucial that you maintain proper form when performing the exercises or back injury may result. Play it safe and start out with lighter weights until you can comfortably perform the exercises. Gradually increase your resistance as your strength and coordination improve. Take extra care with maintaining form at the end of your sets when fatigue starts to set in, as this is when your muscles are most vulnerable to injury.
Do Leg Muscles Go Down When You Take a Rest Day From Doing the Elliptical?
When working out on the elliptical, you can get an effective cardiovascular workout and engage the muscles of your legs at the same time. Even though 150 to 300 minutes of cardio exercise are recommended for adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's also a good idea to give your body a rest day, and your leg muscles will not go down after enjoying a day of rest. Before starting a new exercise program, talk with your physician to ensure it's right for you.
Rest Promotes Increased Muscle Mass
Your elliptical workouts will strengthen your heart, help you lose or maintain weight, and give your thigh and calf muscles a good workout. When muscles are worked out, a rest day actually helps them restore and rebuild following exercise. Daily exercise without the benefit of rest will lead to overtraining syndrome, which makes it difficult for your body to lose weight, build muscle or improve sports performance.
Rest Prevents Muscle Injury
Being sidelined by a muscle injury is one way to lose the toned legs you've worked so hard to achieve. A rest day once or twice per week helps you maintain good form while using the elliptical, while reducing your susceptibility to muscle strains and sprains. While one day off will not cause your leg muscles to go down, having to refrain from exercise for several weeks will.
Ways to Spend Your Rest Day
If you're concerned about losing muscle mass or physical conditioning by taking a day off, there are other things you can do to avoid this on a rest day. Take a walk with a partner or bike ride with a friend at a leisurely pace to work your leg muscles and body a bit while giving the elliptical a rest. Keep your leg muscles loose and ready for the next workout by doing some stretching exercises. It's OK to give yourself permission to sit on the couch one day per week and can actually help the development of your leg muscles.
Strength Training for Building Leg Muscles
Complement your elliptical workouts with some strength training exercises that target your leg muscles. Two to three 20-minute sessions per week will help you get the toned, developed leg muscles you desire. Hold weights while performing lunges, squats and calf raises to work your legs. To avoid overdoing it on the elliptical, you can alternate between doing your cardio exercise one day and your leg strength training exercises the next.
Plank Exercise With Alternating Arms and Legs
Plank exercises are well-named because most of your body remains as stiff as a plank of wood throughout the activity. Raising an arm, a leg or both during the exercise makes your positioning a bit less plank-like. But the strategy can convert a core exercise into a total-body activity that helps strengthen the limbs that remain on the floor. Do a five-minute aerobic warm-up before you perform planks and do the exercise as often as every other day.
The Foundation -- A Standard Plank
Perform a standard front plank in one of two positions. In both positions, you lie face down on the floor with your legs extended and close together. Position your toes on the floor as you would for a pushup. Then balance your upper body either on your hands in a pushup position with your palms on the floor below your shoulders or on your forearms. In the latter case, position your elbows on the floor underneath your shoulders with your upper arms vertical. Try to hold the position for 30 seconds to two minutes.
Alternating Leg-Lift Plank
When you’re comfortable with a standard plank, try the alternating leg-lift version. Assume a pushup position with both arms straight and your fingers pointed forward. Contract your abs, raise one foot a few inches up off the floor and then push that foot straight back, about 10 to 14 inches. Keep the raised leg straight. Pull the foot forward, return it to the starting position and then repeat the exercise with the opposite leg. Do 12 to 16 reps, alternating legs with each rep.
The plank-up exercise combines elements of the standard plank, leg-lift plank and the pushup. Begin in a standard plank position on your forearms. Raise your right leg a few inches above the floor while keeping it straight and then point your toes away from your body. Assume a pushup position -- while your leg remains in the air -- by placing your right hand below your right shoulder and straightening your arm, and then doing the same with your left arm. Return to the forearm plank position to complete one repetition. Do the next rep by again raising your right leg, but this time move to the pushup position with your left arm first. Complete six to eight repetitions and then perform an equal number of reps with your left leg in the air.
Alternate Arm and Leg Lift
Perform a more challenging plank version by lifting an arm and a leg off the floor. Start the exercise in the standard plank position on your forearms and toes. Contract your gluteus muscles and then simultaneously raise your right foot and left arm off the floor. Keep your leg straight as you raise it several inches. Straighten your arm so it’s aligned with your torso. Hold the position for five seconds and then return your arm and leg to the floor. Repeat the exercise with your right arm and left leg. Continue alternating your arm and leg lifts for 12 to 16 repetitions.
When Do Most Moms Work Out?
When you're a mom, it can be hard enough to make time for school, homework, baths and errands, let alone work out. However, a University of Georgia study found that low-intensity exercise can lead to a 65 percent reduction in fatigue -- music to the ears of exhausted parents. The times moms work out is as varied as the moms themselves, but carving out time for exercise is worth it.
Rising and Attempting to Shine
If your kids have kept you up late, getting out of bed to exercise can be particularly hard. However, a half-hour workout session before the kids wake up not only gets exercise out of the way for the day, it allows you time to yourself to gather your thoughts before mom duty starts. Even if you don't have time for a trip to the gym, Woman's Day recommends getting in a brief bit of exercise whenever you can. The effects are cumulative, so take 20 minutes for a jog or brisk walk, even if it's just up and down the street.
You Snooze, You Lose
If your partner is willing to put the kids to bed or stay home with them after they've gone to sleep, make the evening your exercise time. Young kids often go to sleep earlier than their parents, which means a chunk of time for exercise between their bedtime and yours. Best of all, the National Sleep Foundation reports that moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise can lead to a better night's sleep and decrease anxiety and depression.
They Snooze, You Win
If your kids nap during the day, consider investing in a treadmill, elliptical machine or other exercise equipment for your home. While your children nap, put the baby monitor next to the machine, play your favorite music through headphones and work out. If the TV doesn't wake the kids, try an exercise DVD or fitness video game. Look for exercise programs that work multiple body parts at once -- Parenting.com reports that these can give you an entire body-sculpting workout in 15 minutes.
Babies as Resistance Training
The proliferation of mommy-and-me exercise classes allows you to take your kids along when you work out. Not only do you get to spend the extra time together, you're modeling healthy behavior by exercising with them. Look for classes at your local gym or YMCA, or call yoga studios in your area if you enjoy sharing a downward-facing dog with your little ones. Best of all, some programs allow you to use babies' body weight for resistance training.
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