"Above all, the most important element to fat loss is the frequency of exercise bouts during the week rather than a focus on a single workout," says Scott Danberg, MS, director of fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Aventura, Florida. "Commitment to a daily 30-minute routine can be far more effective than an every-other-day routine that lasts 60 minutes." That's because, overall, these shorter but daily routines often total a greater amount of exercise time for the entire week. Plus, shorter workouts mean you can work out harder. "That's really important because the more intense your routine, the more fat you burn throughout the day," says Danberg
Harness the power of adding strength training, also called resistance training, using free weights, exercise bands, or machines, to your daily aerobic workout. "Muscles burn fat calories and maintaining muscle mass with strength training will allow your metabolism to hum along at a higher, fat-burning rate," says Danberg.
"Challenge your heart rate during an aerobic workout by adding resistance and or speed," says Jen Cassetty, MS, ASMC, CSCS, a fitness expert and trainer in New York City. This is most easily accomplished by wearing ankle weights when jogging, biking, walking or on the stair machine. "Start by using 3 to 5 lb. weights on each ankle and walk, jog, etc. slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. Increase your speed for 1 to 3 minutes, and then decrease your speed for 5 to 10 minutes. Continue slowly decreasing until you come to a stop," says Cassetty.
Olympians have tapped into several tricks to burn fat and maintain the lean muscle mass needed to train at the highest level of competition. Aniela and Jerzy Gregorek fitness coaches in LA, world weightlifting champions and founders and head coaches of the UCLA weightlifting incorporate these gold medal-winning tricks to stay at the height of their sport and "churn the burn."
Danberg says staying active throughout the day – not just during your workout – will increase the fat calories you burn. "The secret is to avoid being an exerciser who is relatively sedentary before and after a workout," he says. If you're at work, get up from your desk chair every hour or so and walk around the office. Or climb the stairs at home for 10 minutes a few times a day. "Just getting up is beneficial. While talking on the phone stand, move in place or walk over to a window. Every step counts," says Danberg.
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