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Should You Run or Walk to Lose Weight?

Should You Run or Walk to Lose Weight?

I have good news for those of you who hate to sweat but want to get in shape: walking may be just as beneficial as running if you want to lose weight. While running certainly isn’t a bad idea, walking for exercise is much more accessible for the average person. Once you know the benefits of walking, you might re-think taking your lunch break to sit in the staff room staring at a magazine.

Benefits of running

It should come as no surprise that running uses around 2.5 times as much energy as does walking. Of course, the more energy used, the more calories are burned in a shorter period of time. Even when the same amount of energy is used, runners still tend to lose more weight. Runners also maintain their body mass index over time, and running may help regulate a person’s appetite. Again, running for exercise certainly has its benefits, but it has its downsides as well.

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Negatives of running

When runners lose weight, it’s lost from their muscle mass rather than fat storage. This happens because your muscles are more metabolic and therefore burn more calories than fat does. And despite the fact that running steadily may regulate a person’s appetite, too much running increases a body’s production of cortisol. This stress hormone actually increases a person’s appetite. Not only can over-exerting yourself cause your appetite to increase, but it also makes you leptin-resistant. This blocks your body from notifying you when you are too full, which results in overeating. Finally, an increase in cortisol will also result in your thyroid’s inability to produce the hormone T4, which leads to a loss of energy and an inability to burn fat.

Pros of Walking

Walking actually reduces your risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in much the same way running does, despite the discrepancy in intensity. To lose a pound in a week, you should aim to burn about 500 calories a day. You can do this by power walking for one hour each day. Or, if you don’t have a full hour block of time in which to exercise and don’t want to work up a sweat during your day job, just make sure you spend at least an hour and a half on your feet throughout the day. You’d be shocked at how much time you spend walking on a daily basis. Use a step counter and you’ll realize you probably spend at least 60 minutes walking throughout your daily routine.

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If possible, increase the intensity of your walk without bursting out into an all out sprint by holding small weights as you go. If you use a treadmill, increase the incline intermittently. If you’re walking around your neighborhood, don’t avoid those hills – they’re good for you.

Lastly, since walking doesn’t require as much energy as running does, you’ll also be more open to other exercises and weight training after a 30-minute walk. Don’t waste the energy you have – work hard to reach your goals.

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A Matter of Preference

While it’s obvious that both walking and running are beneficial to your overall health, it’s simply a matter of your choice which method of exercise you’d prefer. However, if you choose to run, be careful not to burn yourself out or over-exert yourself. You could end up doing more damage to your body than good. On the other hand, walking is a great way to stay in control while you stride toward your goal. While finding time to change into gym clothes and hit the track for a run is definitely a time-consuming process, you can fit time for walking into your daily schedule almost seamlessly. Walk on!

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on August 7, 2020

6 Best Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home

6 Best Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home

Gyms all over the world are re-opening, yet most people are put off by the various restrictions, risks, and the realization of not having so much time to dedicate to exercise anymore. Covid-19 has started a revolution within the fitness industry, and the new trend is all about at-home training. If you’re going to follow this trend, you’ll need to know some of the best fat burning exercises you can do at home.

Many busy people around the world don’t want to spend hours commuting and queueing outside of gyms, but the desire for a flat stomach is stronger than ever now that the summer season has finally peaked. If you want to maximize the little time you have to exercise from your living room, check out these fat burning exercises.

The best workouts are always going to be those that consist of moves that engage multiple large muscle groups. You can easily take a simple, conventional toning move and turn it into something more efficient that gives you the most bang for your buck.

While it takes a lot of different kinds of training to reach well-rounded fitness (strength training, cardio, stretching, etc.), total body strength training and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) are best for burning off body fat quickly.

Apply this concept to the exercises that make up your routines, and they become dynamic, fat-burning workouts. Here are the best examples of exercises that consume a lot of energy and don’t require any equipment.

1. Burpees

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    No cardio compilation would be complete without burpees. They challenge every part of your body and send your heart rate soaring in no time. All this adds up to an exercise that burns about 10 calories per minute[1].

    Assuming you’re doing between 10 and 20 repetitions every minute, this is one of the best fat burning exercises out there. You can torch even more calories by upping the pace. Just make sure you don’t let your form suffer!

    2. Jumping Lunges

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    See the source image

      If you thought basic lunges were hard, you’ve never tried jump lunges before. This plyometric exercise strengthens all the same muscles, but it’ll also get your heart pounding in no time.

      To get started, simply lunge forward on your left leg as you bring your right arm forward and left arm back, elbows bent at 90-degree angles. From the lunge, jump straight into the air as you switch your arm and leg positions, then land with the opposite arm and leg in front. You’ll burn about 12 calories per minute, so you can really get a good workout in a short amount of time.

      3. Jumping Squats

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        Like with jump lunges, jump squats add a cardio element to a basic strengthening move. You’ll perform a bodyweight squat with your arms straight out in front of you, or bent with your hands behind your ears. At the bottom of the squat, jump as high as you can, land with your knees slightly bent, then immediately sink into your next squat.

        4. Push-ups

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          Push-ups are a total body exercise that are easily modified and can be made to be very challenging, even for the most avid exerciser. To make pushups easier, elevate your hands on a bench, counter-top, or against a wall.

          To make push-ups more difficult, elevate your feet. The higher the angle (with your hands on the ground), the more of your bodyweight you support. Also, you can increase the range of motion by elevating your hands on books, push up handles, or something similar.

          5. Mountain Climbers

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            Mountain climbers might win the award for most travel-friendly exercise because they require no equipment and take up hardly any space. On the flip side, they also deserve some recognition for being super challenging.

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            A 150-pound person can expect to burn around 30 calories after three sets of 40 repetitions. You can easily incorporate any of these other moves to create a full workout, or simply go for as many sets as you can.

            6. Jumping Jacks

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              That’s right. This old-school warm-up is an effective form of cardio. The primary benefit of doing jumping jacks is that it elevates your heart rate. You breathe more deeply while jumping, which delivers oxygen to your bloodstream and ultimately to your muscles.

              In addition, you will also shake your lymphatic system and burn fat at a rapid rate[2], promoting weight loss. Extra tip: Do as many jumping jacks as possible for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the same routine for 20 seconds and 30 seconds.

              What to Do With These Exercises

              Each one of the above-mentioned moves has the potential of consuming a lot of calories on its own. Pairing them or combining them can be an excellent way of creating a time-effective, fat-melting home workout. I have been coaching busy executives, moms, and dads for over a decade, and finding time-effective hotel room workouts has always been a skill of mine. In my experience with extremely busy clients all over the world, three types of routine give the best bang-for-buck results while also improving the rate of compliance (it’s useless to have the best routine if you don’t practice it).

              Let’s explore a few examples:

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              Daily Walks

              This is the home fat burning protocol baseline. It’s important to realize that no exercise routine will help you lose weight if you don’t make a point of getting your 10,000 daily steps.

              If you’re able to be out and about, aim to get 10,000 steps per day. Walking serves as a great way to clear your head, manage stress, and keep fat gain to a minimum.

              This may not sound like a big deal, but getting around 10,000 steps per day may burn as many as 500 calories[3]. Taken over the week, that’s 3500 calories, or the same number of calories in a pound of fat.

              Walk in the morning. Walk while doing meetings on the phone. Walk after meals. Walk while you listen to podcasts. Walking time doesn’t need to be dead time.

              Bonus: When you go for your walks, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose. Nasal breathing has a ton of benefits including:

              • Better oxygen extraction, which can lead to more energy.
              • Maintain a balanced pH in your body.
              • Deep nasal breathing may decrease nerve activity in the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response).
              • Increase Nitric oxide, which can improve the flow of nutrients into your body, improve waste disposal, and regulate blood pressure.
              • Regulate workout intensity.
              • Mouth breathing accelerates water loss, which can accelerate dehydration.

              The Intermittent Training Protocol

              This protocol should be the base of your exercise program, and it takes virtually no time. Do this every day:

              Pick one of the above-mentioned exercises and perform it with perfect form, as fast as you can, for 30′ seconds, totally cold. If you have stiff joints or previous injuries, scale down the jumping version of the exercise with the static one (example: switch jumping squats with regular squats).

              Repeat this 2-3 times a day, every day.

              In his book, The Immunity Code, Joel Greene explains how quickly performing an exercise totally cold and at a totally random time of the day will prime your body to learn that particular movement pattern, improving strength, metabolic rate (therefore fat loss), and joint health.

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              The secret of maintaining a young body may as well be being able to sprint from zero to hero or squat as fast as you can without a second notice (as our ancestors might have been doing their whole life).

              This intermittent training protocol takes virtually no time and has an insane cumulative effect. Think about it: 30 squats, three times a day, for seven days is 30 x 3 x 7 = 630 squats that likely equal 1000 calories burned and virtually zero time consumed. A great idea is to do your chosen exercise each time you hit the toilet in order not to forget about it.

              The 20-minute Hotel Room HIIT Workout

              Here, the game gets tough. If you can cut 20 minutes, one to four times per week, you’re up for a sweaty, fat burning blast. Do this:

              Pick 4 of the above-mentioned exercises, and do them as fast as you can for 60 seconds, then rest for 2 minutes.

              Example of a lower body + core day:

              • 1′ jumping jacks, rest 10”
              • 1′ jump squats, rest 10”
              • 1′ jump lunges, rest 10”
              • 1′ jountain climbers, rest 2′
              • Repeat 3-4 times

              Example of an upper body + core day:

              • 1′ jumping jacks arms, fully extended, rest 10”
              • 1′ press-ups, rest 10”
              • 1′ burpees, rest 10”
              • 1′ mountain climbers, rest 2′
              • Repeat 3-4 times

              Final Thoughts

              Over my 10+ years of experience as a trainer coaching TV celebrities, executives, CEOs, and a ton of average people looking for a great workout, I’ve learned that the only way to help people maintain a fitness routine is to create a fitness regime that can improve people’s lives rather than consume it.

              Going to the gym is great, but it’s a time-consuming activity, and it’s rarely a necessary one if your goal is to be lean, young, healthy, and energetic. Over the past four months, I’ve been helping thousands of people to get fit from home, for free, in my private Busy Yet Fit Community by streaming my live home workouts every single day. Feel free to join and learn more about at-home routines that suit all levels of fitness.

              More on the Best Fat Burning Exercises

              Featured photo credit: Pavigym Prama via unsplash.com

              Reference

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