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Extra fat stores are a sign of a calorie imbalance.
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According to the American Council on Exercise, fat loss comes about as a result of a calorie deficit. The process of creating a calorie deficit has two components -- cutting calories from your diet and burning off calories through exercise, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A solid calorie-burning exercise routine is an important part of an effective fat-loss plan.
Stretching before a workout has two important roles -- preventing injury and improving performance. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you stretch your legs (calves, thighs and hips), neck, shoulders and lower back in preparation for a workout. You will want to do some dynamic stretching just before your workout that roughly imitates the range of motion you'll be engaged in while exercising. Save the static stretches, where you stretch and hold, for after your workout.
Warming up gets more blood to your muscles and prepares them for the strain they will experience during a workout. According to the Mayo Clinic, warming up before aerobic exercise could help prevent muscle injuries. For this workout, you will want to walk at a brisk pace for five minutes. If you feel any sharp pains, stop and gently stretch out the related muscles before continuing your warm-up.
Directly after your warm-up, jog for 25 minutes without stopping. Jogging is considered by the CDC to be a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Their official recommendation is at least 150 minutes of this kind of exercise per week. Counting the warm-up and the cool-down, the aerobic portion of this workout plan totals 35 minutes. To meet the recommendation for aerobic exercise, you will need to do four of these jogging sessions per week.
Hitting Your Stride
For those with a slightly higher level of fitness, a high-intensity interval workout may be a desirable alternative to jogging. Interval workouts alternate between 30 to 180 seconds at an 80 to 95 percent exertion level and an equal or longer active recovery period. The CDC recommends a minimum of 75 minutes per week of this intensity of aerobic exercise, or roughly three 25-minute workouts each week. According to the American Council on Exercise, high-intensity interval training boosts your insulin sensitivity and helps cut subcutaneous fat, among other benefits.
Strength-training exercises burn fat while building muscle tone. The CDC recommends at least two weekly strength-training sessions, incorporating exercises that work all the major muscle groups, including arms (dips, pullups), legs (squats, leg curls), abs/torso (crunches, curl ups), pectorals (pushups) and shoulders (bench press). For each exercises, do two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
A cool-down gives your body time to return to a normal temperature and allows your heart to slow to a resting rate after a hard workout. Doing cool-downs may help guard against muscle injury, says the Mayo Clinic. For this routine, cool down by walking briskly for five minutes. You will also want to include some static stretches for the major muscle groups used. When performing static stretches, you should feel tension, but not pain. Stretch gently and slowly, holding every stretch for 30 seconds apiece. Avoid bouncing, as this can damage your muscles.