The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than are consumed. The fastest way to burn calories is to do aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is anything that gets the heart pumping and the circulation racing. Running, jumping rope, climbing stairs and various dance and step classes are all aerobic exercises. The key to getting the maximum performance out of fat-burning aerobic exercise is consistency, timing, rest intervals and varying the exercises.
“The key to a successful exercise program is consistency over time,” according to the American Council on Exercise. Consistency in exercise builds upon itself. As the body gets fit, it burns calories more efficiently and can be pushed to larger fitness and weight-loss gains. Removing barriers to consistency will ensure steady weight-loss progress. Develop strategies for working out every day at specific times, keep a fitness log and be accountable for keeping workout schedules. Working out with a partner helps consistency because someone is relying on you to work out at a specific time.
Sometimes called burst training, interval training has long been used by sprinters to gain high intensity burst of energy for short distance sprints. “Repeated sessions of brief, intense intermittent exercise, elicits metabolic adaptations that resemble traditional high-volume endurance training,” according to the National Institutes on Health. This is great news for people who have a hard time fitting exercise into their daily routine. Aerobic exercise can be done in short 10-minute intervals throughout the day with the same metabolic effects as a runner. High-intensity exercise uses more carbohydrates as fuel and helps burn more fat. There is some connection with high intensity training and improved fat metabolism, according to Dr. Len Kravitz, an exercise scientist and researcher at the University of New Mexico.
Getting a good night of sleep is important to weight loss. People who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation release ghrelin (a hormone that regulates appetite) and can become resistant to leptin (a hormone responsible for satiety), reducing the body’s response to feeling full and causing them to eat more, according to Mike Zlateff, with the American College of Sports Medicine.
Variety is not only the spice of life, but also a great way to keep the body from adapting to an exercise routine. When the body adapts to a workout, it will plateau and results will taper off until fitness increases cease. The best way to keep burning calories and improving fitness is by frequently changing the routine. Run one week and jump rope the next week, or change aerobic activity daily to keep the body guessing.
About this Author
Caroline Thompson has been a professional photojournalist since 1999. She combines writing and photography in her stories. Thompson’s work has appeared in the “Sacramento Bee,” “People Magazine,” “Newsweek” and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University Hayward (CSUH) and a personal trainer certification from the Health and Fitness Institute out of CSUH.