Fat loss is unquestionably one of the most popular topics in health and fitness, as people constantly seem to be looking for that special workout, diet, pill, or piece of exercise equipment to give them the body of their dreams. I have written numerous articles about the importance of performing challenging workouts if you want to lose fat and improve your fitness level, but as with most things in health and fitness, there is more than one way to achieve fat loss. This article explains how easy aerobic workouts can help stimulate fat loss.
Performing easy aerobic workouts to lose fat is rather common, but not too many people are successful with this approach. The mistake people make is to have their workout routine contain only easy aerobic workouts, often with little variation, instead of including a variety of workouts. Easy aerobic exercise is not an efficient way to burn calories or lose fat and it is not very useful for preventing muscle loss when dieting. While these workouts do not really do much except burn a few calories and possibly improve your cardiovascular health, depending on your fitness level, they can help you lose fat if used in specific ways.
The key making easy aerobic workouts more effective is to use them in addition to other forms of exercise and not make them the entire focus of your workout routine. Challenging workouts are more efficient and effective than easy workouts, so you should always perform at least one challenging workout per week. If you perform a lot of easy aerobic exercise, then it is a good idea to make a challenging workout some form of full-body resistance training, such as lifting weights.
Challenging resistance training exercises provide many benefits not found in easy aerobic exercise, such as preventing muscle loss while restricting calories, increasing your metabolism, and improving your overall fitness level. After having the initial fat burning stimulus from the challenging workout (s), adding easy aerobic workouts then complement the stimulus by burning additional calories to help promote fat loss beyond what is accomplished by the challenging workouts.
You may be wondering why you would include any easy workouts if the challenging workouts are more effective, but the truth is most people can not handle performing challenging workouts all the time. If you do not have any problems recovering from difficult workouts, then you should probably perform challenging workouts as much as possible, but if challenging workouts take days to recover from, then performing frequent challenging workouts is counterproductive. They will just wear you out mentally and physically until you become overtrained and lose progress.
One of the largest keys to sustained fat loss and fitness improvement is finding the balance between giving your body enough recovery and challenging yourself with your workouts. If you get easily worn out or do not recover well from workouts, then you will have to take things more slowly and not challenge yourself quite as often. Fortunately, you do not have to wait until you fully recover before doing all types of exercise and this is where the easy aerobic workouts are most effective.
Even though your body may not be up for a challenging workout, chances are you can still do some light exercise without wearing your body down more. In fact, easy workouts can actually speed recovery, which may allow you to perform challenging workouts more frequently and with fewer negative after effects. Of course, you also burn extra calories when performing these workouts and although this calorie burning will be less than during challenging workouts, it still adds up over time to help you lose some extra fat.
Personally, I have been experimenting with this approach for a while, because I tend to recover poorly from challenging workouts. I found that I can perform one tough workout plus one or two other fairly challenging workouts a week without experiencing negative effects. If I do more than that, I start feeling run down and if I keep pushing, I end up suppressing my immune system and start getting sick. However, I can still include additional easy workouts to my training routine without experiencing these negative effects.
One thing to note is easy aerobic exercise is not very efficient, so you have to perform a lot of exercise to make a significant impact on your results. A few minutes here or there will not do much of anything. For myself, I noticed some improvements by adding about 3 hours of easy exercise per week on top of my normal workout routine, but since everyone is different, your results could have been very different from mine.
When all is said and done, challenging workouts are the best way to achieve almost any fat loss and fitness goal, but easy aerobic exercise can still be a useful tool. Using easy workouts to their full potential is all about performing them at the right time, specifically when other workouts would be too demanding for your body. By burning some calories and helping your body recover, they can give you just that little boost you need to lose that unwanted fat.