If you ask the average person why they work out, chances are, they’re doing it to shed some excess fat. If only it was that easy, as losing weight and eradicating our body flab can be an extremely grueling and frustrating task, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Fat is the way our body stores unused energy for later use and actually has very little to do with how much fats and oils you consume. But while the primary function of fat is to serve as a source of energy, in almost all circumstances, the body prefers to burn carbohydrates for energy, instead.
There are, however, ways to induce the body to prioritize burning fat for energy. One way of achieving this is fasting, another is to dramatically reduce carb-intake, and as far as exercise goes, the best way to promote fat burning is cardio.
There really is no competition. While muscle-building exercise is important for its own reasons, for weight loss, the only thing that reliably works is extended aerobic exercise. But which is best?
Walking is one of the most approachable exercises, seeing as how we walk around all the time. It is also one of the least taxing or dangerous workouts, but that is not to say that it’s worthless by any means. Since it’s the easiest aerobic exercise to sustain over longer times, it’s also a lot easier to get value out of it, since time is more important than distance when discussing aerobic activity.
Running obviously burns more fat per hour compared to walking, but is also a lot harder to maintain for a whole hour. That being said, it is also one of the best ways to build up cardiorespiratory endurance and train yourself to gradually do more strenuous aerobic activities. Also, contrary to popular belief, running actually reduces the chances of suffering from osteoarthritis. Its high impact also promotes better metabolism for as long as a day after running.
Swimming is one of the all-around best workouts your body can get, as it not only burns calories, it builds nearly all of your muscles. Being submerged in water also has the benefit of reducing chances of injury dramatically, though cramps are still a possibility. As an aside, you’re putting in all of the work, without having to bother with sweat!
Whether mobile or stationary, the bicycle is a great way to lose bodyweight. Gym bikes have the added benefit of allowing you to set resistance and incline to your preferences, allowing for a tougher or easier workout. Meanwhile, cycling outdoors isn’t just healthy, it’s a great way of getting around.