Maintaining a healthy body weight isn’t just a cosmetic thing, it’s also crucial to keeping vital organs healthy and avoiding life-threatening conditions. For people who are overweight or obese, losing weight can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. However, the journey to achieving a healthy weight can be daunting at first.
Five tips to help you “move stubborn fat”
Pick up the weights
While cardiovascular workouts are undeniably good at helping to increase endurance and reduce overall body fat, Virtue also stresses the importance of building muscle.
He said: “Adding resistance to your training with strength training can help the body preserve fat-free mass, which increases the number of calories your body burns at rest.
“Regular weight training, which is safe yet challenging for your body, will also help you build lean muscle – this, combined with fat loss, helps create a more toned and sculpted physique.”
According to the fitness expert, this type of training has proven to be “effective in losing body fat”.
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Incorporate HIIT into your workout routine
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, a form of cardiovascular training that sees people alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and brief periods of recovery.
Usually this is done to the point of exhaustion.
Mr. Virtue explained: “Not only is HIIT a great way to boost your mood, but research shows that the increase in metabolic rate, caused by intense, high-intensity exercise, can last up to 38 hours, which means your body will burn a lot more calories in a resting state.”
Although some HIIT workouts are for more experienced people, there are ways to modify fitness routines for those who are just dipping their toes into this explosive workout world.
Mr Virtue said: “HIIT, especially longer circuits or more complex combinations, can be intimidating for beginners.
“However, there are simple, short HIIT exercises you can start with: squats, sit-ups, burpees, and mountain climbers are all great exercises to try for 30-second intervals with a 20-second rest.”
Don’t just focus on the gym
While your exercise regimen is a crucial part of weight loss, having a more active lifestyle, in general, will drive you towards your goal at a much faster pace.
Mr Virtue said: “Increase your daily activity levels with simple lifestyle changes: avoid driving short distances and try walking instead, use the stairs instead of lifts or adopt pass- times that involve movement, such as rock climbing or swimming.If you find it difficult to stay motivated to be more active in everyday life, then combine that with socializing and hanging out with loved ones.
“For example, you might suggest swapping your next afternoon at the pub for a trip to a beautiful natural location where you can enjoy a long walk and a picnic.”
Schedule time to rest
Picking up the pace isn’t the only way to encourage fat loss. In fact, according to the fitness expert, getting enough rest is also essential.
Mr Virtue said: “When trying to achieve fitness goals, it can be tempting to try and push your body to its limits with a rigorous and relentless training regimen. However, that’s not not the most effective way to lose body fat or maintain a healthy exercise routine.
“Too much vigorous exercise without enough recovery days can lead to overtraining which causes your body to store more fat, due to an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone.
“Listen to how your body is feeling and what it needs – if you’re feeling particularly lethargic or achy, then vigorous exercise is probably not the best idea. Instead, consider an activity that will allow you to rest while benefiting your mood, such as reading or meditating.
“Sleep is also crucial for the fat burning process – aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep per night and ensure you have an optimal environment for falling into a deep sleep state.”