Types of exercise for fat loss
I am going to start out by firstly saying, if you are getting out there and getting active more than 3 times a week then you are doing well! Whether that be long distance running, run-jog-walking, footy training, group fitness classes etc- good on you!
And if you enjoy it, continue, but I am going to point out the types of exercise which are more beneficial for fat loss, if you feel you have hit a plateau.
The 2 types of training I believe are most beneficial are interval training and weight training.
Interval training/High intensity interval training are cardio workouts which are generally less than 30 minutes long, but have been shown to burn more calories and burn more adipose tissue (fat) than steady state cardio (jogging). It does this by increasing metabolic rate (steady cardio along with dieting can actually decrease your metabolism!) and also by keeping your body guessing (your body adapts to continuous cardio, and you start to burn less and less calories)
Interval training: if you are a slave to the treadmill, or doing consistent long jogs or runs (mindless cardio) then it is time to change things up. Interval training put simply is a series of low to high intensity exercise spurts with rest periods. Aimed to get your heart rate high and low instead of a consistent medium. Spin classes, circuit training, playing/training sports, group fitness classes and sprinting sessions are all examples of interval training. Another example of interval training would be running out doors or on a treadmill at a fast pace which challenges you for 30-45 seconds, then walking for 60-90 seconds as rest, repeating 8-10 times.
If you are already performing interval training then HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a next step up. HIIT is an enhanced form of interval training, where you work for less time but much harder. And it is great for improved fat burning. An example of HIIT is working at a maximum intensity (warm up first) for 10-20 seconds followed by 30 seconds rest. By maximum I mean busting your arse as hard as you can! You can do this by running, bike, pushing a sled, what ever gets your heart pumping. Repeating at least 10 times.
A great article on HIIT and 10 more examples of work outs can be found here
If you put interval training or HIIT into Google you will find a heap of workouts available to you.
As for strength training: this is a no brainer. Guys are already onto it but ladies, you will not bulk up by doing strength or weight training. It is proven that lean muscle on the body is not only healthy, it also boosts your metabolism (burning more calories even while sleeping or sitting on the couch). Forget about metabolism boosting 'teas' and other foods, weight training is better by far. It also shapes your body in the best way possible, toning and creating a better body composition. I couldn't believe the difference it made for me personally.
Where to start: This is not something you want to dive head first into, technique is SO important to avoid injuries and setbacks. At first concentrate on technique over the amount of weight your using. If you are completely new to it, you could try:
Body weight exercises (push ups, squats, dips, lunges, step ups, planks)
Joining a boot camp/circuit training with a group and a personal trainer (great one is www.progressionfitness.com.au)
Pilates/yoga (body weight exercise)
Body pump classes are also a good starting point
A great beginers at home circuit training program (in a ebook) can be found here www.kaylaitsines.com.au
Next, if you are able to get into a gym, I highly recommend getting a strength program written up and being shown how to do the exercises, and how to use the weights and weight machines. All good gyms should have this available with a personal trainer. If you can afford it, get a personal trainer for a few sessions to learn how to do the exercises properly, or at least do some good research.
For guys and girls looking to lift heavy, I recommend slowly building up and finding a good strength trainer in your area. A great online program and hundreds of heavy strength workouts can be brought for a reasonable price here www.joedonnellyfitness.com