The general idea on exercise and fitness is that doing something is better than doing nothing, but some routines are better than others when it comes to shedding pounds. While exercises like yoga and barre can be instrumental in toning, strength, and balance, Blueprint Fitness owner and head trainer Joshua Jarmin said that those looking for weight loss shouldn't focus on them.
"You need to increase your heart rate for calorie burning and perform moderate-to-high volume resistance workouts like weight lifting in order to lose weight and fat," he said.
Another big mistake that those exercising for weight loss tend to make is focusing too much on the calories burned during exercise.
"Yes, calories are king when it comes to losing weight. However, more than 80 percent of your calorie burning comes from your RMR - resting metabolic rate," says Jarmin. "The additional calories lost from your workouts help, but they are not the biggest factor in determining weight loss."
And while integrating a regular running routine is great for your health, don't count on the additional mileage to consistently give your calorie burn count a boost — at least not on a long-term basis.
"You will lose some weight within the first few months of running," conceded Jarmin. "Unfortunately, your body is a smart machine and will burn fewer calories the more you run. The only thing you can do is run further, longer, and faster to burn the same number of calories."
So what's a weight-loss seeker to do? Jarmin said some of the best workouts for weight loss involve HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
"Follow the rule of one-to-three or one-to-four work-rest ratio: work for ten seconds then rest for thirty to forty seconds," said Jarmin. "It might not feel like you're doing much at first, but give it a few minutes and you'll soon realize it's much harder than you thought. Do not flip the work-rest ratios. You will not speed up the weight loss process. The only thing you will speed up is the chance of injury."
While HIIT can jump-start your metabolism, there's no reason to kick your daily yoga habit just because you want to focus on weight loss. There are definite benefits to the stress-relieving routines, even if the practice alone doesn't necessarily focus on shrinking the number on the scale.
"In addition to your weight-loss workouts, you should do workouts that improve your range of motion and balance, like yoga or pilates," said Jarmin, who admitted he's a yoga fan himself. "This will do two things: reduce the chance of injury during your weight-loss workouts and improve any underlying issues, such as imbalanced hips."
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