So you’ve finally joined your local gym and have developed the motivation to shed those pounds. You may be looking for an in – home personal trainer Naples FL to assist with the journey. With the loads of different machines available, it may be difficult to decide which equipment is right for you. While any exercise is good exercise and will burn calories, if you are like most Americans, you want the most bang for your buck! If you are going to be at the gym for an hour about 3 times a week, you want to make sure you are burning as many calories as possible in that amount of time.

The key to weight loss is cardiovascular exercise as it is the fastest and best way to burn fat all over your body. There are a few different options when it comes to choosing a machine but it is important to be knowledgeable in your selection.

  1. Elliptical: The elliptical machine is a wonderful, low-impact cardio workout. For those of you with knee problems, this machine is perfect as it places no stress on the knees. In about 45 minutes, you can burn anywhere from 400 calories or more based on your weight, height, and how much effort you put into the workout. Most machines will even keep track of your heart rate and tell you how many calories you have burned. For starters, it is recommended to work out for about 30 minutes at a time. Any less is not highly effective because the body needs at least 20 minutes of exercise before it kicks in to “high calorie burning gear.” It is also important not to overdo the workout. It is recommended to exercise for no more than 90 minutes a day, otherwise you risk losing muscle mass instead of burning fat.
  2. Treadmill: Ah, the trusty treadmill-tried and true-tested for years and known to be a great cardio workout. The treadmill will burn at least as many, if not more calories, than the elliptical, based on the speed and incline settings you chose. The only setback of the treadmill is the strain it places on the knees while you run. Remember, the same rules about the length of your workout also apply to the treadmill.
  3. Aerobics Classes: All our gyms have them and some of us are very hesitant to attend them for various reasons-especially our male exercisers. However, not every aerobics class instructor is the stereotypical, annoying Denise Austin type and the classes are highly valuable. In reality, attending these classes can give you quite an intense workout. My personal favorite is kickboxing-not only is it fun, but the average person burns a whopping 500 calories per hour! Aerobic step classes and Cardio Circuit classes also provide a great workout and burn many calories.
  4. Weight Training: Often overlooked, especially by women, weight training is key to weight loss; though weight training itself does not burn many calories, it is key to increasing your body’s efficiency. Why you may ask? Because more muscle means your body will burn more calories throughout the day. First, it is important to note that a woman CANNOT bulk up if she lifts weights (ranging from 2lbs. to 10lbs is my recommendation) simply because females do not have enough testosterone to build muscle as do males. This will also explain why men have a much easier time with weight loss than women-they have more muscle mass and therefore can burn more calories. A woman who lifts light weights for many repetitions and sets will develop lean muscles and tone her body, not bulk up. It is important to note that one cannot build significant muscle bulk and burn fat at the same time as the two processes are opposites (you must eat more than you burn to build muscle, less than you burn to lose fat), but creating defined lean muscle is not the same as creating bulk. As you begin to develop this lean muscle, your body will burn more calories during your cardio workouts and throughout the entire day.

For starters, it is recommended to exercise about 3 times a week; make sure to spend time on cardio as it will burn the most fat. The same applies to males trying to lose weight. You want those flat abdominals? Well, you can do crunches all day but unless you do cardio workouts to burn that belly fat, you will never see a defined stomach. Remember to pace yourself and increase the intensity of your workout slowly and only when your regular routine has become too easy; if you push yourself too hard, you will only end up losing muscle mass and damaging your health. Always remember to drink plenty of water during and after your workout to rehydrate your body and monitor the number of calories you take in vs. the number of calories you burn. Good luck with the weight loss!