Exercise will improve your heart and lungs, promote a sense of well-being and improve your cholesterol levels. It can also leave you feeling energized and looking good, as long as you’re following a healthy, balanced diet free of high-calorie foods. The big benefit of exercise and a healthy diet is a reduction in dangerous levels of fat. However, how much fat you lose depends on the intensity of your workouts. When it comes to melting away unwanted pounds, high-intensity exercise is best.
Low or moderate-intensity exercise should leave you feeling a little breathless but still able to comfortably engage in a conversation with someone. Low-intensity exercise includes walking, swimming or riding a bike. Examples of high-intensity exercise include aerobic classes, sprinting and circuit training. These types of exercises will leave you speaking in short sentences while sweating and breathing rapidly.
The only way to get rid of excess fat is to burn more calories than you consume. This is done by switching to a healthy and balanced diet of foods that are low in fats and carbohydrates, while at the same time, increasing the amount of physical exercise that you do on a weekly basis. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity ever week.
High-Intensity Melts Fat
In 2011, "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" published a study that revealed that high-intensity exercise was more effective at improving body composition than low-intensity exercise. This is because vigorous, high-intensity exercise requires more energy to perform. The greatest amounts of fat are usually stored around the abdomen. This fat is known as visceral fat, and it surrounds vital organs such as the liver and kidneys. Too much visceral fat can lead to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and it's this fat that the body targets and burns.
High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise
According to an article published in the Journal of Obesity in 2011, high-intensity intermittent exercise may be more effective at reducing abdominal fat than other forms of exercise. This is because regular high-intensity intermittent exercise greatly increases your aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels, improving your cardiovascular system while strengthening and building your skeletal muscle as well. Low-intensity exercise tends only to work your body aerobically. High-intensity intermittent exercise burns more fat because it gives you a combined aerobic and anaerobic workout.
- American College of Sports Medicine: Cholesterol Facts: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Benefits of Physical Activity
- USA.gov: Weight Loss Programs
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- American College of Sports Medicine: High-Intensity Exercise Best for Improving Body Composition
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Journal of Obesity: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Metabolic Profile of High Intensity Intermittent Exercises