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Valuable Tips on How To Lose Weight in Time for Summer

Valuable Tips on How To Lose Weight in Time for Summer

Swimsuit season’s just around the corner. Get out of your workout rut and shape up for summer by incorporating these tips into your fitness routine.

If, like many people, you’ve found yourself in a rut at the gym-—doing the same elliptical workout followed by a circuit of the same machines every time-—odds are you’re also having trouble achieving your weight-loss goals. Maybe you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to shake those last ten pounds. Don’t get discouraged— here are some changes you can make to reignite your results.

Lift Heavier Weights

If you’re using the same weights every time you work out, you can’t reasonably expect to see results as the body quickly adapts to stresses placed on it. You’ll have to change what you’re doing in order to produce change in your body. This often means trying different exercises or types of equipment, but it also means challenging your muscles with much heavier weights than what you have been using.

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Many women in particular are fearful of lifting heavier weights, which makes them go often for home bodyweight workouts with minimal or no equipment, concerned that lifting heavy will cause their muscles to bulk up. This is simply not going to happen.

Building lots of muscle mass, enough to appear larger in size, generally requires high volumes of lifting on individual muscle groups, a strictly regimented diet, and testosterone-—something not found in large quantities in most women. But building a little muscle mass is a good thing. You’ll appear leaner, firmer, and more toned—not bigger—and add sexy definition.

Besides, adding a few pounds of muscle will give a slight bump to your metabolism: more calories burned per day, even when you’re resting. This will allow you to better maintain your weight loss over time.

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Add Interval Training to Your Cardio Routine

A common practice is to gravitate toward a single type of cardio equipment, press start, and begin exercising for at least 45 minutes at a preselected level of intensity. By doing this every time you work out, your body will get used to it, fast.

As a result, your weight loss might slow or stop altogether. In addition to that, such a type of workout doesn’t encourage to increase the intensity as it becomes less challenging.

If you typically do a long (40 minutes or more), moderate-intensity cardio workout, consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Here you’ll alternate intervals of work at a high intensity—think an 8 or 9 on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10—with moderate-intensity “recovery” periods (about a 6). An example would be to run on the treadmill and follow it by brisk walking. Whilst there is no set formula, a 1:3 ratio of high-intensity work to recovery is a good place to start.

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Try alternating 30 seconds of work with 90 seconds of recovery for 20 minutes. Include a lower intensity warm-up/cool-down for 5 minutes each, and you have completed a 30-minute workout that will be shocking your body into burning more calories than it would do through a longer, lower intensity routine.

Do Cardio and Weights Every Time You Work out

When trying to lose weight, many will focus their time and energy on cardio, figuring that’s where most of their calorie burn will come from. As such, they’ll hit the treadmill four or five days a week, but only dedicate one or two days to strength training. And while cardio is essential to the health of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels, in the long run it’s the increased muscle tone strength training delivers that will help you keep the weight off.

Also, you can more effectively balance your calories through your diet than you can with cardio. Ask yourself which is easier—eating a few hundred fewer calories per day or slaving away on the elliptical for an hour?

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Aim for at least three days a week of exercise, with each workout consisting of a warm-up, 30 minutes of strength training, and up to 30 minutes of high-intensity interval training. Not only will you be in and out of the gym in an hour, but you’ll jumpstart your weight-loss results just in time for beach season.

Featured photo credit: firestock via firestock.ru

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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