When it comes to exercise for weight loss you might think cardio is the best move but that’s not always the case.
Although cardio can be a helpful way to bring your heart rate up and promote fat loss, alone it might not give you the results you’re looking for long term.
When it comes to exercise for weight loss most people will see more results with a mix of cardio and weightlifting movements.
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If you’ve ever browsed a health and fitness website the likelihood is you’ve seen the abbreviation HIIT floating around.
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and can help you burn a lot more in a shorter amount of time as opposed to steady state cardio. Steady state cardio is where you maintain a similar pace and exertion during a period of time whilst HIIT involves brief periods of high-intensity cardio throughout a workout.
A good starting point for HIIT is to choose your favourite cardio whether it’s the elliptical, bike or just going for a run. Start with 5 minutes of moderate-paced movement and then 5 intervals of HIIT, a good place to start is 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 90 seconds of your base pace. After you’ve repeated this 5 times finish off with a 5 minute warm down at a lower intensity.
However, HIIT training doesn’t need to be confined to a single cardio machine at the gym, you could set up a circuit or follow an online training guide and still achieve a similar workout. It’s just about finding what works for you.
When it comes to losing fat and keeping it off, building muscle should be a top priority. Cardio helps get your heart rate up and burn fat but because lifting weights helps to build muscle and is the most effective way to change the shape of your body.
If you’re worried about weightlifting making you look bigger or bulky, don’t worry! Muscle is incredibly dense in comparison to fat, in fact, a pound of muscle takes up a fifth less space than fat does. Muscle also helps your body naturally burn more calories in its resting state so pick up those weights next time your in the gym.
However, it’s important to know, not all weight training is created equal and that’s where compound exercises come into play.
When it comes to weightlifting and strength training, compound exercises are your best friend for results.
Compound exercises utilise more than one muscle group at a time, allowing for more of your body to be worked and therefore a better workout.
So, when lifting weights, instead of using movements that target singular problem areas opt for compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, presses, and pulls which work multiple muscle groups at once.
When it comes to exercise for weight loss a 40-minute-long gym session isn’t going to deliver you results if the rest of your day is spent inactive. So, make sure you’re taking every opportunity to get up and move around during the day.
Work in a sedentary job? Don’t worry there’s still ways you can keep active. Such as getting up at least once an hour to stretch your legs, taking the stairs where possible, and going for a walk around the block on your lunch break.
It might seem difficult but with persistence, you can get there.
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