How to Burn Fat Faster 3
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When the cold winds blow,
does your fitness program become a bear and go into hibernation?
The hot days and balmy nights of summer are
gone, replaced by crisp, cool fall temperatures. The chillier it gets, the less
likely you are to take to the great outdoors for exercise. And if your fitness
regimen is based solely on walking, jogging and other outside sports,
youre probably at a loss for an exercise alternative to fall back on.
As your physical activity comes to a
screeching halt, your metabolism slows, resulting in the weight gain
youve fought against steadfastly since last January.
Fitness expert Michael Stefano has seen it
too many times: when its hot, youre hot; when its not,
The weather is getting colder and
activity levels start to drop, says the author of The
Firefighters Workout (HarperCollins). Typically when people reduce
their physical activity, they start to gain weight. I have a tendency to put on
around 5 pounds this time of year.
It has something to do with the human
body and the stages it goes through. When it gets cold, the body senses famine
and a shortage of food. Over the next few months, its natural to increase
your appetite this time of year. Theres nothing wrong with that, but you
dont want to couple that with a lack of physical activity just because
summer is over.
With the cooler temperatures, people also
bundle up to stay warm. They find comfort in big, baggy clothes -- clothes that
also camouflage the return of the extra pounds youve struggled so hard to shed.
Theres no longer any pressure for a bathing suit-ready body. So you slip back
into your bad habits of eating too much and exercising too little.
When you stop exercising, your
metabolism starts to adjust to the lower level immediately. The basic metabolic
rate goes down, as well as your fuel requirement. Yet, you continue to eat the
same amount. Now youre eating more at the same time youre losing
muscle mass. You have two things working against you.
But there are ways to battle the bulge
whether its winter, spring, summer or fall.
You cant change the weather, but you
can change your workout, says Stefano. All you need is a set of dumbbells and
15 to 20 minutes a day to rev up your metabolism. By building muscle,
youre increasing the amount of calories you burn by 25 percent. That
means regardless of whether youre moving or at rest, youre still
Stefano has three resistance exercises
(squat, push-up and leg raise) that work a number of muscles at one time. Not
only are you toning and strengthening the muscles, youre turning the body
into a fat-burning machine by increasing your basic metabolic rate.
Perform 2 or 3 sets of each of the
following exercises. Rest from 1 to 2 minutes between each set. Shorter rest
between sets will promote more fat burning, while longer rest will tend to
create more strength and muscle.
Repeat the entire workout twice or 3 times
each week, but allow at least 48 hours between workouts. Use the Intensity
Booster provided with each exercise to enable yourself to hit muscle fatigue at
the recommended repetition range.
Squat With Dumbells
Start out by
standing with your feet shoulder width apart holding dumbbells at your sides.
Hold the head straight while you maintain the natural arch in your back, knees
soft. Inhale as you bend at the knees and hips to a sitting position or as low
as you can comfortably go without pain or discomfort. Allow the arms to swing
forward for balance.
Your buttocks never drops below the level
of your knees, and your knees do not extend beyond the toes. Exhale, slowly
rising to a standing position with knees and hips straight, allowing the arms
to drop back to your sides. Ideally, select a resistance level (body weight or
dumbbells) that enables you to hit muscle fatigue in the 12 to 20 repetition
Intensity Booster: Hold dumbbells (as
shown), but if you don't have access to free weights, simply perform this
exercise at a slower pace to increase intensity and overall results. Squat down
to a slow count of 8, and back up to a slow count of 4.
Classic Push-Up or Modified Push-Up
Lie face down on the floor or
mat, hands on the floor, palms down, slightly wider than shoulder width apart,
and toes curled under on the floor. Your back and legs are straight. Exhale as
you slowly straighten your arms and push your body away from the floor. Inhale,
lowering yourself back down to the point where your chest comes within a few
inches of the floor. Repeat to muscle fatigue (in the range of 15 to 20
Intensity Booster: Elevate the feet on a
step or bench (while your hands remain on the floor) to increase intensity. To
reduce overall intensity, perform the Modified Push-Up instead of the classic
Everything remains the same
as in the regular push-up, except the knees are bent and remain on the floor
throughout the movement instead of the feet. Repeat to muscle fatigue (in the
range of 15 to 20 repetitions).
Lie supine on a mat or padded carpet, legs straight, both hands under your
buttocks to help maintain the proper pelvic tilt (engages abs). With your head
held off the floor a few inches, exhale and slowly bring your knees to your
chest. If necessary, support your head and neck with a folded towel. Inhale as
you straighten your legs (make sure you keep the lower back pressed firmly into
the floor), then return to the starting position. Repeat to muscle fatigue (in
the range of 20 to 30 reps).
Intensity Booster: Kicking the legs
straight out and near the floor will increase intensity (as shown), while
kicking higher up, and away from the floor will reduce it.