Certain effective exercises can completely change your body, all within a couple of weeks. Many people exercise for hours a day or week, and never see results or changes from their hard efforts. The reason is some forms of exercise just don’t work as efficiently as others. Though you’re burning calories, you’re not seeing change, and there is a good reason. Some exercises only burn fat during the action, while others burn calories during and after exercise. Other reasons that you might not see results are because you’re doing the same exercise over and over, and never challenging your body, or your heart rate. Raising your heart rate, challenging your muscles and heart, and changing up your routine, are all key to making your exercise more effective. Try adding these effective exercises and chances are you’ll not only see improvements quickly, but also have to exercise less overall to get the results you’re hoping for.
HIIT is one of the most effective exercises you can do to help change the way your body burns fat. You’ll do short movements at an intense pace which challenges the muscles in a unique way. Your body may be doing jumping jacks one minute and the next situps, followed by pushups, burpees, cross-overs and then leg raises, all to repeat the sequence up to 10-15 times. HIIT only takes between 20-30 minutes a day, and most people lose a lot of weight quickly with this form of exercise. You can find many great workouts online on YouTube if you’d like to try HIIT.
2. Ashtanga Yoga
I”m a huge yoga fan, but I recognize that some forms of yoga aren’t the best for burning fat. Yoga comes in a variety of practice styles, and each style is made for a different reason. BIkram yoga and Hatha yoga are used to improve stress, and although they can lead to weight loss for some people, the movements are very slow, and positions are held for long periods of time. Other forms, like Ashtanga yoga, involve constant movement and flow, which challenge the body, raise the heart rate, and help your body burn fat quicker. Try forms online at yogaflow.com, or on You Tube for free videos.
3. Cardio Drills
I’m a huge fan of cardio, but one of the worst mistakes I make, is I tend to get stuck with one favorite type and never challenge myself. Cardio drills, on the other hand, are a fantastic way to burn calories during and after exercise. Cardio drills might involve walking at a fast pace for one minute, then running for three, doing sprints for two minutes, and then repeating the entire session of activity for 30 minutes total. Or, it might be a different combination of exercises. This is somewhat like HIIT, where you’re constantly changing activities, but you’re only doing cardio movements the whole time. You can design any of your own drills, and include any of the exercises mentioned here, and even add stair-climbing, jogging, elliptical, or any other form of cardio you enjoy.
Swimming is a fantastic way to burn calories fast. Because you’re entirely changing the way your body has to support itself through breathing, movement and stability, your muscles are engaged, constantly challenged, and your metabolism raises as a result. Try adding around 30 minutes or more to see results fast.
If you think exercising on the floor won’t help you lose weight, guess again! Pilates is one of the best exercises of all to fight body fat, belly flab and poor posture. It is excellent for toning, strengthening and tightening your core, all while also improving lymph flow to the body. Lymph is a fluid inside your body that can become stagnant and stall weight loss. If lymph builds up in the blood, fat cells are stored more readily. Fluid movements that help move lymph along help to improve blood flow, and help lymph excrete toxins that lead to weight gain out of the body. Besides all that, Pilates is a stress lowering type of movement, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol that can lead to weight gain. You can find many beginner DVDs online or in stores for purchase, or free videos on YouTube.
6. Strength Training
Good old strength training is one of the top effective exercises to fight weight gain, stress and flab. Just 20-30 minutes, three or four times a week is one of the best ways to increase lean body mass, reduce body fat, and increase your metabolism. Strength training also has an advantage to plain old cardio exercises. It burns fat during and after exercise, which means you can rest and recover and still know you’re burning fat and building lean muscle mass.
I saved the most fun exercise for last! If you want a quick way to shed weight, just turn up your favorite tunes and start dancing. High paced is best, and try a video or online session for a specific routine if you’re new to it. Dancing revs your metabolism, raises your heart rate, tones your muscles, and improves your mood. It is one of the best, and most fun, forms of effective exercise you can do to improve your muscle tone and overall body composition.
If you have a favorite effective exercise that has helped change how your body looks, please do share it! I’d love to hear about it!