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5 Fitness programs for weight loss

Kristen Fischer is a copywriter, author and journalist based in New Jersey. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and host on the monthly podcast, Freelance Radio. Learn more about Kristen at www.kristenfischer.com.

Want to drop pounds? Try these activities!

If you're looking to shed some winter weight, you may want to try one of these fitness programs.
Zumba class

So you're committed to shedding "elbees" in the New Year, but what are the best programs to try?

Jeff Dolgan, an exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch in Miami, says there are a few exercises worth trying, especially when you want to drop pounds.

1

Zumba

Get ready to get moving -- and start seeing results. The plan allows for movement through multiple ranges of motion and engages your core musculature with pelvic activation. Dolgan says the fun factor will keep you engaged and pumped for the next class. In short, you'll get moving and have fun -- and be likely to stick with it!

2

TRX strength training

This program utilizes whole-bodyweight strength training and challenges functional ranges of motion using suspension straps. You'll burn more calories than with a traditional strength training program due to multiple muscle-group contractions, Dolgan says. It's also convenient because you can do it on the go, at the gym or at home.

3

Circuit training

Merge your focus from only strength training or cardio into circuit training. "The two techniques in one dynamic work out will allow for a greater calorie expenditure and more effective use of time," explains the fitness expert. So do three minutes of high-intensity cardio, then three sets of strength training.

4

Big muscle group strength training (and avoiding small muscle group spot training)

According to Dolgan, a pound of muscle burns between 10 to 15 calories per day at rest. If big muscle groups such as the pectoralis major (chest), rhomboids (back), deltoids (shoulders), latissimus dorsi (back), quadriceps and hamstrings (legs) are challenged to a point of fatigue, muscle mass will increase slightly and therefore increase resting metabolic ability. What does that mean? It's a sure-fire calorie torcher.

"Strength training has a post-exercise calorie consumption effect, which means that for the 24 hours following a workout, a person is consuming more calories than if they had not strength-trained, due to tasks of recovery and repair," he notes.

5

Burdenko water exercise

An effective total-body workout that allows for high intensity without the effect of gravity on joint mechanics. Dolgan says that people usually work harder in the water because they are not sweating, so you'll get a solid workout. Think water exercise is for older gals? Think again!

More health and fitness trends

The top 20 fitness trends for 2012
Kettlebell workouts: Why you need to pick up a kettlebell
Full-body fitness trends for the New Year

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