Many people today approach exercise and fitness in one of three ways: they avoid it, they hate it, or they are obsessed.
Make your fitness goals part of a routine that isn’t a chore. Aside from the obvious benefits of weight loss, toning, and cardiovascular health, getting more exercise induces the production of chemicals in the brain, which make us happier. The right kind of exercise also reduces cortisol levels and makes insulin more effective, which blasts belly fat. Here are the three main types of exercise you should get every day. Add them up for a 30-minute routine that blasts fat and more.
Forget Long-Winded Cardio
Who wants to spend 45 minutes or more on a treadmill or track? Not many have the time to train for marathons or long-winded cardio routines. Instead try burst training. A burst training session is just under 12 minutes of intense fat-burning cardiovascular exercise.
Here’s how, using a stepper machine, treadmill, stationary bike, jumping jacks or walking track and hand weights. Perform this exercise as follows:
- Do a session of full-on, as fast as you can go cardio for 20 seconds.
- Follow that with 20 seconds of very slow activity.
- Repeat this session three times for a full rep.
- Take a two minute rest.
- Repeat the entire rep three times.
The entire 12 minute routine is only 6 minutes of exercise, and it includes muscle building when you use hand weights. The benefits, aside from a shortened time period, exceed that of full, long-winded cardio sessions, say researchers. In fact, athletes use it to improve speed, endurance, and reflexes. It has an added benefit of accelerated fat loss and is recommended by top trainers and doctors as the fitness breakthrough of our millennium.
Work on Your Core for More Energy
It’s true — experts have been telling us this for years — training the core muscles that run around our waist and back not only improves our posture but also increases our energy. Try this the next time you are forced to sit at a desk: simply sit up straight for several minutes. Feel a difference? While the your core muscles may have felt a bit fatigued, your breathing and mental energy should be improved.
To strengthen your core muscles, try: yoga, Pilates, or general back exercises. You will be amazed how up to 12 minutes of core exercise daily will improve your body in only a week. For bad-back sufferers, try “The Bad Back Book” by Jerry Wayne. For overall flexibility training while doing core exercises, try Richard Hittleman’s 28 Day Exercise Program. For intense fat burning while you work your core, try Zumba or Fluidity. And neither of these routines include crunches or sit-ups.
Other Ways to Get More Active
In addition to a daily routine, don’t forget to stretch. Take about five minutes upon rising and retiring everyday to stretch out your legs and arms. Remember the stretching routines we had to do in highschool gym class? Take two to five minutes every morning and night to fully stretch your calves, hamstrings and arms to reduce injury and tight muscles.
Why stop at two 12-minute workouts every day? Get more active to lose weight faster and feel better quicker. If you work in an office or other sedentary job, get up at the end of every hour and take a five minute walk. Or take a short walk around the block before or after meals to get the blood pumping. Finally, find an activity you enjoy with friends, such as walking the mall or playing a sport, to get you moving once or twice per week.
Page Two – Why Exercise Works