Extra fat on your body might make you self-conscious, but more importantly, it raises your risk of chronic disease. The average American man has approximately 28 percent fat, reports the American Council on Exercise. Having more than 20 percent fat greatly raises your risk for early death.
Fat loss happens when you create a calorie deficit — a 3,500-calorie deficit to lose 1 pound, to be exact. Cardio exercise that gets your heart pumping and causes you to break a sweat helps burn calories, so you can drop a few fat pounds. You don't have to be a gym rat or outdoor exerciser to get active. Burn calories at home with these effective exercises.
You don't need much space to get in a great jump rope workout — and you'll sizzle calories. A 185-pound person burns almost 450 calories per half hour of steady jumping.
It's unrealistic to think you'll be able to steadily jump rope for a straight 30 minutes, however. Not only is it boring, but it takes some real rhythmic skill. Instead, try performing intervals of rope jumping that between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Rest for 15 to 20 seconds between these intervals to go for at least 20 or 30 minutes of exercise.
To add variety, you might add in jump rope tricks such as single-foot hops, cross jumps, side-to-side jumps and forward and backward hops.
Calisthenics don't require extra equipment, and you can perform them in a area in your living room or basement. Don't let the old-fashioned name, "calisthenics," fool you — these moves are no joke when it comes to effort and caloric burn.
Perform 45 to 60 seconds of each exercise in quick succession, taking just enough time to switch position. Do all nine, then rest for a minute or two before repeating a second and third time through. Warm up with marching in place and high knees for five minutes before beginning the circuit.
- Burpees: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend forward, put your hands on the floor and hop back to plank. Immediately jump back forward and stand (or leap) up.
- Prisoner squats: Place your hands behind your head and bend your hips and knees to sit into a squat so your thighs are near parallel to the floor.
- Jumping jacks: Stand and jump your feet open wide and back together while raising your arms overhead.
- Mountain climbers: Get into plank position and pull one knee at a time in toward your nose at a rapid pace.
- Butt kickers: Stand and jog in place, pulling your heels to touch (or come close to touching) your buttocks
- Jump lunges: Stand with one foot staggered in front of the other. Bend the front knee into a lunge. Spring up, switch the feet in mid air and land back in a lunge with the opposite foot forward.
- Lateral bounds: Squat down into your right leg and leap to the left, landing on a softly bent left knee. Immediately rebound to the right.
- Fast feet: Start with your feet a little wider than your hips and crouched into an athletic stance. Run quickly in place, staying on the balls of your feet.
- Plank jacks: Get into the top of a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders. Jump your feet out wide and then back together quickly.
When performed in quick succession, strength-training moves raise your heart rate and count as a cardio workout. These exercises also help a man to build muscle, which increases his metabolism so it's easier to drop fat. If you don't do strength exercise, you're doomed to lose this important tissue as you age. By the age of 50, a man's lean muscle tissue decreases by about 1 to 2 percent per year, reports ACE.
If you have a set of dumbbells stashed away in a closet at home, pull them out for this routine. Alternatively, fill a couple of milk jugs with sand or use heavy bottles of laundry detergent. Perform each circuit for about one minute and move through them in quick succession, resting a minute or two only once you've gone through the circuit one time. Repeat the circuit two to three times total. Warm up by marching in place or climbing stairs in your house prior to the routine.
- Bent-over rows: Hold a heavy object in each hand. Bend forward from the hips and pull your elbows up by your ribs to "row."
- Goblet squat: Hold one or two weighted objects in the center of your chest. Sit down and up into a low squat.
- Triceps dips
- Biceps curls
- Walking lunges: Hold a heavy object in each hand. Take a long step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee, lowering the left one toward the floor. Bring the left leg forward into a similar step.
- Shoulder presses