With a new cookie or soda shop popping up on every corner, Utah isn't exactly the easiest place to maintain a healthy weight. So... what's the best workout to combat those calories? Let's be clear - ANY form of physical activity can assist in weight loss. Physical activity increases your heart rate, which means that you are burning more calories throughout the day, often assisting in putting you in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you are consuming). While most types of exercise can be effective, there are some types of training that may be more efficient in achieving your weight loss goals.
Cardio Steady-state cardio is a form of exercise that can assist with weight loss. Examples of cardio include running, walking, or biking up Provo Canyon. This form of exercise usually stays at the same constant pace. It’s effective for improving your endurance and stamina and will help you burn calories since you increase your heart rate, although it will remain lower than if you are doing high-intensity training.
HIIT When it comes to fat loss, research shows that interval training, like HIIT (high-intensity-interval-training), is 40% more effective in the amount of time commitment required to dedicate to training. This is because HIIT training elevates your heart rate and keeps it higher throughout the training session. HIIT training has been shown to lead to greater improvements in aerobic fitness and body composition when compared to moderate steady-state workouts. HIIT workouts have also been shown to come out on top when it comes to burning more calories and increasing post-exercise fat oxidation and energy expenditure, compared to steady-state cardio.
Resistance Resistance training is commonly known to play an important role in increasing muscle mass and strength, however, extensive research has also shown that resistance training influences other health-related benefits, including fat loss. Resistance training can assist in reductions in fat mass through an increase in lean tissue mass and basal metabolic rate. Essentially this means that your total daily energy expenditure can be higher in response to resistance training. More calories burned means there can be an increase in fat loss potential.
Functional or Compound Movements Adding compound movements to your strength training can be effective in assisting your weight loss goals. A compound movement is a multi-joint exercise that is designed to target multiple muscle groups at one time. Because this type of training recruits several muscle groups, it can increase the heart rate and can burn a higher amount of calories than isolated movements.
Functional movement refers to movements that are performed naturally and in our everyday lives, so functional fitness is about incorporating these movements in a higher-intensity setting to strengthen the muscles used and help us move better in our daily activities.
We suggest combining a few techniques in order for you to get the most out of your training. Aim for a combination of HIIT and resistance training so you can get a balanced, full-body workout with maximum time efficiency. The benefits of combining these systems can include:
Increased muscle growth and neural adaptation
Reductions in fat mass and blood pressure
Increases in bone mineral density, which can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
Significant impacts on mental health outcomes - specifically, reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms, improvements in sleep quality, and self-esteem
While steady-state cardio, HIIT training, and resistance workouts are proven to be effective in reducing body fat, at the end of the day the workout that is best for fat loss and maintaining a healthy waistline is always going to be a training style that you enjoy and will maintain enough motivation to be consistent. The best way to keep motivated is to enjoy what you are doing. If you struggle to be disciplined with your exercise schedule, find a workout buddy or a group fitness class with a supportive community. And above all, stick to it!