Although fitness and exercise provide a range of benefits and are undertaken for plenty of different reasons, it’s fair to say that the majority of people who begin a new exercise regime are doing so in order to lose weight.
Weight gain is primarily caused by the body consuming more fat (either directly or as a result of excess carbs) than it needs to function normally. This excess fat is stored on and around your body in case it’s needed in the future – with favourite storage locations being the stomach, hips, thighs and bum.
Therefore, people seeking to lose weight are seeking to use up their additional fat stores, by making their body use more energy than usual. To get maximum results, it’s best to use exercises that specifically target those problem areas; so here are seven favourite fat-busting techniques for the gym or at home.
1. Cross Training
Combining the thigh workout of a treadmill with an additional arm workout, this beautiful cross training machine targets two different areas simultaneously. In order to get the maximum benefit, don’t overstretch yourself – aim to do bursts of five minutes or less at a level where you’re slightly out of breath but not gasping for air.
2. Inline skating
One of the best exercises for losing weight and toning up, inline skating works the muscles in your thighs and bum thanks to the side-to-side movement of your body, as well as getting your arms moving. Your core muscles also get a workout as they maintain your balance, so this is great all-rounder.
It would be crazy not to have this staple of fitness activities on this list. The muscles used in running – notably your thighs and bum – are also the biggest calorie- and fat- burning muscles, so whether you opt for a treadmill or a stint in your local park, running is an easy way forward. If you struggle to maintain the energy to run for more than a minute, as many first-time gym goers often do, then start with walking – but make sure you set a pace which makes it difficult to maintain a conversation.
You thought you’d left your skipping rope behind you at primary school, but it’s back to bring both nostalgia and a healthy dose of fat-burning benefits. You’ll want to upgrade to an adult sized rope, ideally one that reaches from one underarm, down to your feet, then back up to the other underarm. Start gently with a stepped routine (as though you’re jogging) before progressing to jumping.
This is a fantastic activity for both the gym and at home, and can be a great way to spend time with friends or family. If using an exercise bike, aim for five-minute workout chunks, and set a difficulty level that gives some resistance whilst allowing you to maintain an RPM of over 70.
6. Hula hoops
Another blast from the past, hula hoops are one of the best ‘fun’ activities for getting rid of excess fat, along with dancing. The circular motion of your hips works both your thighs and core, as well as giving your bum a good flex. Again, you’ll want an adult-sized hoop, one that reaches to your chest when stood up.
A perennial favourite, and one that always experiences a surge in popularity in the summer thanks to better weather. Tennis is a good all-over workout, getting you moving as well as flexing arm muscles, and additionally improves hand-eye co-ordination. There’s no need to find a partner or a local court, however – just find a big of empty space and a wall, and play against yourself.
Of course, these exercises alone won’t do all the work for you. Most cardio-based workouts (like running, cycling etc.) work best in conjunction with weights-based training too, and it’s not good to only give your body a cardio routine as you don’t give your muscles chance to rest. Try to alternate activities, or at least alternate cardio exercises to focus on a different muscle group each time.
If you’re not sure what gym equipment will suit you best, or you’d like more advice on routines and workouts, it’s worth booking a workout session with personal trainer derby who are fitness and health experts and you can discuss all your options with a trained professional. They can also show you how to use all the equipment safely and effectively.
It’s also important to stay well hydrated during any workout, so make sure you have a bottle of water handy for when you need a little refreshment. And most importantly, enjoy yourself. Exercise needs to be fun for you to maintain an interest, so choose the activities you know or think you’ll like the best, and work from there. Good luck!