There’s a simple principle to follow when aiming to burn fat and reach a healthy weight: the more calories you burn the leaner you will get. There are many forms of exercise, all of which serve a specific purpose: the question is what type of exercise is the most efficient at burning calories.
Cardiovascular training is the most important exercise for improving general health and wellbeing. Walking and running are probably the most accessible form of exercise and for anyone who requires non-weight bearing exercise cycling, swimming, and rowing are excellent alternatives.
By increasing the frequency and/or volume of weekly cardiovascular exercise more calories will be burned and the leaner the person will become. However most people are limited in the time they have available to train and most people realistically have little inclination to continually increase the amount of training they do.
The answer is to choose a form of exercise which burns the most calories in the same amount of time. There is one word which describes this training: intensity. High intensity training burns more calories during the session and also raises metabolic rate after the session so more calories are burned at rest.
High intensity training can be achieved in several ways. By introducing alternating hard and easy efforts of any cardiovascular session can become more productive: as fitness improves the intensive efforts can become harder and/or longer so the session becomes even more effective.
Resistance training is important for everyone as it improves strength and decelerates aging related muscular atrophy. By using bodyweight exercises or lifting weights you will achieve two main objectives:
- More muscle tissue will be fatigued so will consume more calories than if you were doing a steady state cardiovascular session
- Increased muscle volume raises metabolic rate so more calories are consumed at rest
The most effective way to maximise your training time is to combine cardiovascular exercise, interval training and resistance training. Intensive exercise burns more calories than steady cardiovascular training.