It goes without saying that most people’s fitness goal is to lose your baby fat and shape up (unless you are running a Marathon) especially as Summer is approaching, you want to get into your Swimsuit with confidence and you may have Weddings to go to.
The shocking news is the UK population is catching up with the world leader in obesity, the USA. Nearly a quarter of adults now classed as clinically obese and we are being labelled as ‘Fat Britain’. Thirteen million of the population have a BMI of over 30. The BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilogrammes by height in metres squared.
For the most, the causes of accumulating too much fat are quite simply a combination of eating too much of the wrong types of food and not taking enough exercise.
Being active burns calories and being very active burns even more calories.
What is the best way to burn fat? There are two choices:
- Steady Pace training – exercising continuously at one speed, such as a
cycle ride or steady run or jog
- Interval Training – this is where you vary between working at a high
intensity and low intensity for 60 secs or so and repeat several times.
Which is most effective?
Of the two, interval training gets the best results. Plus it is more time efficient. It can improve fitness quickly, a great workout for busy people who don’t want to spend 2 hours in the gym. Intervals improve your basal metabolic rate (how many calories your body burns at rest or just to get perform usual daily activities) and therefore increase the total number of calories you burn on an on-going basis.
Losing fat – the science (simplified)
It takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat.
It takes 3,500 calories to add one pound of fat (yeuch and it is a lot
If you can increase your basal metabolic rate to burn 200-300 calories
day over one week you can burn 1,400-2,100 calories a week so over two weeks
you would lose one pound of fat. Add exercise to the equation and you can burn
an extra 200-300 calories a day to increase your fat lose by another one pound
over two weeks, or a pound a week.
Interval training which should feature in your exercise routine twice a
Some sample interval training workouts for you.
Ensure you warm up with dynamic stretches and a light intensity version of the form of
cardio-vascular activity you will be doing in the main workout. Cool down afterward and do static stretches.
Your intervals will generally last for about 30-60 seconds and these versions are good to get started with.
Here are three sessions. Choose one and pick your type – rowing (lower impact), stationary cycling (low impact) or run (advisable after 4-5 months post natal) or boxing (watch the video):
- 4–8 x 30 seconds at a rate
of exertion of 8-9 with 2 minutes of active recovery
- 4–8 x 60 seconds at a rate
of exertion of 8-9 with 3 minutes of active recovery
- 2–3 sets of 30, 60, 90
seconds at a rate of exertion of 8-9 (all-out) with 2–3 minutes of active
recovery, 5 minutes of recovery between sets
Tips to make intervals more fun!
- Download your favourite tunes to your Ipod and crank up the volume
- Do your intervals on the sandy beach on holidays in barefoot – a great workout and invigorating with the sea air
- Involve a partner or friend and get competitive
- Have your little one time you and act as ‘coach’ – they will love it!
- Join an exercise class which incorporates these
- Recuit a personal trainer you find encouraging and motivational
Find out your rate of perceived exertion
Pregnancy – going at a high intensity rate is not suitable in pregnancy. You can do intervals but your must keep to at a rate of exertion of 5-7, so you can still hold a conversation. Be sure to get your GP’s check to exercise.