Most people think cardio regarding weight loss and exercise. Cardio certainly help you burn calories and bodyfat, and you can start on any fitness level. No matter how slow you go, you still go faster than everybody on the couch.
You can do anything that makes your heart and lungs work harder, such as walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, or mountain hiking.
Do not forget what you do in a typical day either, it also counts. Cleaning your house, mowing your lawn, going out dancing and playing with your kids will also make your hart and lungs work.
One obesity study of 439 women found that those who ate healthy and exercised lost considerably more body fat than those who stuck with dieting alone.
However, a lot of people seem to forget an important piece of the puzzle to keep the weight off for life; strength and resistance training. Cardio burns calories but strength training will tone your body and increase your metabolism along with a lot of other health benefits.
Strength and Resistance Training
All physical activity can help you burn calories. However, resistance training like calisthenics or weightlifting has benefits that go beyond that.
Resistance training helps increase the strength, tone and your muscle mass.
This is important for long-term health, since inactive adults lose between 3–8% of their muscle mass per decade.
Higher amounts of muscle also increase your metabolism, helping you burn more calories around the clock — even when you are resting or sleeping. This also helps prevent the drop in metabolism that can occur when you are loosing weight.
Because of this, doing some form of resistance training is really an important addition to a long term weight loss plan. It makes it easier to keep the weight off, which is actually much harder than losing it in the first place. When regular strength training become a habit, you are one step closer to get in shape for life.
Strength and Resistance Training You can do at Home
There are many ways to get started with strength training, but for loosing weight you should focus on exercises that activates big and multiple muscle groups.
With bodyweight training you need minimal equipment (or none at all), and you can train from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, in a hotel, at a playground, in your office or traveling around the world. As long as you have enough space to move around, you can get your workout done.
If you’re bodyweight training, grab a pull-up bar or a set of gymnastics rings. If you are looking for equipment for a home gym that are simple, transportable and inexpensive – feel free to check out my article with fitness equipment for your home Here>>
However – none of these are necessary, you can easily do bodyweight training without any equipment at all. To get started with some of the best basic bodyweight exercises, check out Calisthenics Exercises for Beginners Here>>
If you are looking for a short and effective way to train strength and cardio, you might want to try high intensity interval training. There are different ways to do it, one way that has increased in popularity is tabata training.
High intensity interval training will improve your aerobic system and your anaerobic system more than slower and longer cardio workouts. Performing high intensity interval training will give you another benefit as well, it is called the afterburn effect. This means that you will burn calories for hours after your initial workout.
Think Fat Loss, Not Weight Loss
Your ultimate goal should always be to lose excess body fat. Weight loss and fat loss is NOT always the same thing, it can be two very different things.
When you lose weight through crash dieting, you are losing 60% muscle mass and 40% fat along with water. Since you are losing muscle, it will actually make it harder to lose excess body fat.
The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate; the less muscle you have, the lower your metabolic rate and fewer calories you burn.
This is why healthy clean food and the right training will always be better than diets in the long run. Stop weighing yourself! How you feel is a better way to measure your progress.
Consistency Beats Volume
Consistency is one of the most important parts of making an exercise program work. You can’t expect any improvements if you don’t put in the time and effort to get them.
Exercise programs are based on the concept of progressive overload — pushing the body just a little bit more than it considers normal so that it’s forced to adapt to the new demands that are imposed on it. That’s how you get stronger, healthier, and in better physical condition.
Sticking to a regular exercise regimen will keep you feeling revived both physically and mentally. When you exercise with consistency, your muscles will develop gradually and your mind will experience reduced levels of stress and greater relaxation.
Personally training at home helps me to stay consistent with my training. I can do calisthenics and bodyweight exercises anytime, anywhere. It makes it easy to adapt it to my schedule.
Diets or Clean Eating?
When talking about losing excess body fat, it usually involves diets. But if you want to shape up for life, you are better of with the lifestyle approach. To eat a little bit better than you may have been doing to this point in your life.
Yes, it requires choosing better food consciously for a while. But the great thing about it is that before you know it you have formed a habit. You do not have to become a fanatic, just eat clean and healthy food most of the time.
Clean eating is about eating more of the best and healthiest options in each of the food groups—and eating less of the not so healthy ones. That means embracing whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy proteins and healthy fats. It also means avoiding highly refined foods.
A simple approach where you base most of your meals around a good protein source, lots of veggies and healthy fat will change your body for life.
When you start with small changes it will usually open the door for more!
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the Best,