Maximise your Fat Burn

Maximise your Fat Burn

There are so many benefits of Exercising regularly! It’s good for your muscles and bones, it can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your brain, increase energy levels and is great for your Well-being as it makes you feel good!

However, the main reason many people initially start to exercise is to lose weight, as EXERCISE BURNS CALORIES!

So, if like many people, burning calories is one of your main exercise goals and you’re wanting to really blast your body fat, you need to make sure you’re doing it right with maximum effect!

 

Be intense when you exercise

Don’t be fooled by fat-burning zones. They often advise that working at a lower intensity is better for fat burning than working at a higher effort level (e.g. walking instead of running.) The harder you exercise, the more calories you will burn and that’s really what counts when it comes to losing fat.

 

Choose your exercise carefully

There is no such thing as the ‘ultimate’ calorie-burning workout. Energy expenditure is dependent not just on the activity itself, but on how much effort you put in, how good you are at it, how long you do it for, and how often. Choose an exercise that makes you work hard and that you’re going to do regularly and consistently and unless you want to be miserable and bored during your workout, do something that you actually enjoy!

 

Multi-task your muscles and work large muscle groups

Serious fat-burning exercises use the large muscle groups of the body – the thighs, bottom, chest and back. The greater the overall recruitment of muscle, the higher the calorie expenditure. For example, If you’re going for fat burn in your workouts, you’re far better off using the chest press rather than a bicep curl machine for maximum calorie burn.

 

Exercise Duration

To fire up the calorie furnace, fat-burning exercise has to be sustainable for a reasonable duration. So, while skipping is great, it’s not much use if you can only do it for three minutes. Guidelines recommend 20-60 minutes per session, three to five times per week so find something you can sustain for at least 20 minutes.

 

Interval training to maximise calorie burn

Interval training one of the best ways of maximising calorie burn, it improves aerobic fitness and is perfect if you’re short of time. To get the most from an interval session, push yourself outside of your comfort zone on the efforts and go steady during the recoveries. Try following a 2:2 rest/work ratio to start with.

 

Body weight load

Activities that are weight bearing, such as walking and running, use more calories than those in which your weight is supported (such as swimming or cycling), mainly because you have to shift your own body weight against gravity.

 

Fuel or Fasting?

The fasted workout theory that working out on an empty stomach in the morning burns more fat is somewhat true, as the body has to rely on fat stores for energy if you haven’t eaten first thing, but the lack of energy stores also means that you won’t work out for as long, or as hard as you may have if you’d have fuelled up beforehand.

 

Afterburn

One of the best things about exercise is that the fat-burning benefits continue long after you’ve ended your workout. The ‘afterburn’ (increased calorie expenditure) is far greater after intense exercise – another reason to work hard!

 

Intensity Progression

If you want to keep seeing fat-burning results you must keep increasing the intensity of your exercise, because as you get fitter, your body will be able to cope with the workload.  If you stick to the same pace or weight, the benefits will start to reduce. Keep progressing and pushing yourself so your workout feels challenging every time.

 

And Finally……

 

Daily Activity

Don’t underestimate daily activity! Keeping active during the day can really maximise your daily fat burn. That may mean keeping track of your daily step targets, getting up from your desk regularly or even just standing rather than sitting – but it all adds up towards your daily calorie expenditure, so KEEP MOVING!

Taking your Workouts Outdoors

Taking your Workouts Outdoors

Fresh air, open space and (if you’re lucky) sunshine!  What’s not to love about outdoor training during the Summer season!

As the weather warms up, if you’ve been training indoors throughout the winter months, the Outdoors provides the welcome change of new surroundings, new visual stimulation and adds a fresh new approach to your training sessions.

You’ve certainly got a few different challenges training outdoors – ever changing weather, variable ground conditions, avoiding dogs running around the park! but you’ve also got the opportunity to get creative with your sessions and add in different elements that are much more suited for the outdoors – even walking and running are far more interesting and challenging outside than on a treadmill.

Many of my clients welcome the change to training outside as a new challenge to their usual indoor sessions and they appreciate the change of scenery too – training in the park rather than inside at home or in the same 4 walls of the gym.  I personally benefit from it too.  Being someone who loves the sunshine, it’s a lot nicer way to train clients being outdoors than it is being stuck in a gym all day!

However, taking your workouts outdoors, you’ve got to consider:

Weather – If wet or recently raining, the ground and park equipment may be slippery.  Stick to exercising on areas you know are pretty much slip proof and avoid the grass. Also, direct sunlight can make it too hot for training so try to find a tree covered space.

Hydration – Especially important when the temperatures rise, carry an extra water bottle, as its easy to underestimate how much you’ll need.

Depending on where you’re training outdoors, many parks now have Outdoor gym areas – some equipment is great, some not so great, but nearly all have benches and playground equipment that can be utilised without having to lug around your weights.

Benches – Great for Step ups, Press ups, Dips, Single Leg Squats and Lunges, Mountain Climbers, Seated abdominals etc.

Trees – Great to use as marker points and for use with TRX and Resistance bands.

Playground Equipment – Climbing bars for pull ups, rows, hanging knee raises or just climbing up.

Swings – Great for challenging balance on otherwise static exercises such as single leg squats, Press-ups and Planks.

Make use of the differing ground conditions too – steps, hills, bridges, grass and pathways all provide new training challenges.

Or just take your usual workout session outdoors and enjoy the change of scenery!

Excuses not to Exercise

Excuses not to Exercise

When it comes to exercise, if just the thought if it has you thinking of any excuse to get out of it, you’re not alone. Many reasons for putting off exercise are completely legitimate, however finding ways to overcome these barriers is a starting point.

 #1 You’re too busy at work

These days, everyone seems to have a hectic lifestyle.  The solution to this is PLANNING. If an hour at the gym is out of the question you might still find that a 20-minute brisk walk to or from work or on your lunch break is do-able. It doesn’t have to be all in one go – break it up during the day

 #2 You have family responsibilities

When family takes priority, try to build exercise into your everyday parenting duties or weekend family time (e.g. walking with the pram, playing in the park, swimming or going for a family bike ride).

If you really can’t fit in a workout around the kids, re-assess your daily routine. Could you get up half an hour to fit in a workout? Or take some me-time when your partner gets in from work? Or when the kids are in bed? A 15-minute workout is just 1% of your day!

 #3 You’re confused about what you should be doing

You might not have a clue where to start or what’s the best exercise for your goals.  Look online, read up, ask a professional or hire a Personal Trainer – even just a couple of sessions can educate you, motivate you and put you on the right track with a suitable programme of exercise.

 #4 You don’t like the Gym

It’s a common problem (which is why many of my clients hire me as they can train at home) But it’s worth trying a few out, or going to a few different non-gym-based classes as there may be one you feel comfortable attending. Failing that, you really don’t need to go to a gym or class to exercise – you can do it at home!

 #5 It’s too expensive

Activities such as walking or running outdoors, or doing a home workout are all free!

#6 The Weather

You can’t control the weather, but you can keep an eye on the forecast and plan accordingly. You may need to reschedule your workout (e.g. an early-morning run to beat the heat) or even change the outdoor workout you’d planned for an indoor activity.

And there’s more…….

I’m too tired                          Workout early, get better sleep.

It’s too hard                           If it was easy everyone would be doing it! Build it up gradually.

I’m too old                             Being fit and healthy is beneficial whatever age you are.

I’m too unfit                          Everybody has to start somewhere – do what you can and gradually progress from there.

It’s boring                              Keep trying out different activities until you find something     you enjoy.

I’ve just done my Nails        Now this is the worse excuse EVER!

 

Remember, you can either have EXCUSES or RESULTS, unfortunately not both!

But if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way……

Exercise for Mental Health and Well-being

Exercise for Mental Health and Well-being

We know how exercise improves our general Health and Fitness, but along with the physical benefits, exercise can also have a huge impact on your mental health and well-being.  Exercise is not only great for the body, but also great for the mind.  It’s a mood changer!

There’s a strong link between being physically active and improved mental well-being, especially when we learn that depression is strongly associated with illness and even cardiovascular mortality.  People who engage in regular exercise at any intensity are less likely to suffer from mental health problems and there’s a vast amount of research showing that exercise can be as effective as medication when it comes to treating certain conditions.

Physical activity is proven to have positive effects on:

Anxiety problems

Depression

Stress Management

Self esteem

Sleep disorders

Relaxation

Positivity

Happiness

General Well-being

Physical activity that is practised as a group also helps enormously in combating social isolation.  During a group activity – such as running, classes, dance, team sports, etc. a person is included and engaged in a group of like-minded people. This helps improve motivation levels and alleviate stress and anxiety.

Exercise really can make you feel better WHATEVER your mood is: Motivated, Tired, Angry, Sad or Stressed, so make sure you plan your workout accordingly.  Although you may have a training plan to follow or a class you regularly attend, if you’re not on top form that particular day, change your usual workout for something else to suit your mood. There’s really no point in doing a workout that you’re not going to enjoy as it will only worsen your mood if you fail. If you tailor your workout to your emotional needs rather than physical needs, you’ll not only avoid a meltdown but you’ll enjoy the session much more!.

There’s no point in enduring a gruelling run if you’re feeling really tired – go for a brisk walk instead.  If you’re feeling angry or stressed, do some weightlifting or boxing (you’ll give your best punches!).  But if you’re feeling at your best that day – give it all you’ve got!.

Sometimes the hardest part of a workout is actually getting started, but lace up your trainers, take a deep breath and just do it – I guarantee you’ll feel better for it!.

Realistic Goal Setting

Realistic Goal Setting

January is the month when many people are super-motivated and make their resolutions for the year ahead. But do you set the same goals each year? And do you reach your goals?

If what you tried last time didn’t work, what makes you think that doing the same thing all over again is going to give you a different outcome?. Because if it didn’t work last time you tried, you need to change your plan of action!

Losing weight and getting fit is one of the most common resolutions, especially after spending the festive season eating and drinking so much. This is the reason why the gyms are packed this month, but after a couple of months of the initial ‘I’m going to lose weight and get fit’ motivation many give up.

But you don’t need to be one of the quitters! There are strategies for success in keeping that Health and Fitness motivation going all year.

Make it a Social thing……

Social interaction has been shown to make people more likely to workout so join a fitness class, a local running or sports group, get yourself a gym buddy or hire a personal trainer.  Paying out in advance for things may be a financial commitment, however, combine it with a commitment to another person and you’re much more likely to stick with your program. If you can’t make it to a group, having an online social fitness community (e.g., Facebook group) can also inspire you to keep working towards your goals.

Set and Commit to a specific goal…….

Although the long-term goal may be to lose 2 stone or run a 10k, it’s a good idea to set short term goals too. Sign up to the race and put it in your diary, but also set yourself weekly/monthly challenges that will lead you to your main goal. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time framed) and write them down!

Find the Best Exercise and Diet Plan for you……..

The best Exercise and Diet plan for you is the one that you enjoy doing!. You are far more likely to stay consistent if you actually enjoy what you’re doing and therefore this commitment will bring the greater long-term results.  If you find it boring, you won’t stick to it so try something else!

Keep Going……..

Those low moments when you feel like stuffing your face or cancelling your gym session are bound to happen so plan a strategy for dealing with it. If you blow it on a night out, get back on it the next day, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed – you only fail when you give up!

You don’t have to exercise or eat like an Athlete, It doesn’t matter if you’re first or last and so what if you didn’t get a slimmer of the week award!. The most important thing to making your New Year’s resolutions work in 2019 is to keep at it!

Happy 2019 – Here’s to your Health, Fitness and SUCCESS!