Monday, June 21, 2010

How to Make your Fave Exercise Work for You!

FITNESS - I've always been an active girl, but not one blessed with a small bone structure and long, lean limbs. I'm curvy - with hips and thighs, amongst other things. And while I can't reverse my body type (BTW, size is different from type or shape), I can sculpt and tone with many of the activities I love. In the past, I've tried everything from martial arts to hot yoga to lose weight, and guess what? They all work! But, I've also acquired a few cheat tricks to make each exercise more effective and calorie-burning than it already is!

First off, running and biking - at a moderate pace - already burns about 500 calories every 40-50 minutes, which goes into our first rule: If you want to lose a healthy, maximum 2 pounds a week, you must burn an additional 3,500 calories a week, which you can take out from food or through exercise. If you have the time, you would prefer to do an average of 500 calories per day with a daily 1,600 calorie diet, if you're like me and you love your food! Or you could take out 250 calories from food and burn 250 calories through exercise, which would also be a more balanced way to lose weight. And, like I said, one of the quickest ways to burn it off (which you can do almost anywhere) is running and biking, but to make it even quicker, you can wear a slimming belt (you can find it at Shoppers or Walmart). You can put it around your stomach (and even with some, your butt and legs, but with the stomach especially), it helps you perspire and shed the most water, release the most toxins while you're exercising, which makes you burn more calories and lose instant water bloat weight. Rapid (while temporary) results like these are strong motivators to psychologically and physically prepare you to reach your fitness goals!

And if you can't burn 500 calories a day, you can always burn 1,000 calories 3 times a week! To my amazement, activities like hot (or bikram) yoga and Zumba (dancing) burn approximately this amount of calories every 1-1.5 hours that you do it. For hot yoga, it's up to 1,200 calories (depending on how much you weigh - the more you weigh, the more you burn) for 1.5 hours - and while it's super hard to commit (don't eat 2-3 hours beforehand and drink plenty i.e. bottles of water), it supplies you with the cardiovascular heart rate and lean muscle mass simultaneously for the essential woman's workout. As for Zumba, you can burn anywhere from 500-1,000 calories per class, and while it emulates the exciting and sensual movements of club bumpers and grinders everywhere, it's more exhausting than probably any pole dancing studio boasts!

If those activities don't work for you, you can always dance 8 hours a day (ala Dancing with the Stars celebs), drip off the fat in a sauna, or melt inches off with a spa body wrap. Otherwise, the above exercises imprint flat abs and built thighs, indeed! Enjoy!

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