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Keeping active is a critical factor in helping you lose weight and keep it off for good- but how do you start with your crazy all over the map schedule? At work by eight in the morning and home close to twelve hours later leaves you with little time to get in the recommended 60 minutes of activity each day, and not to mention you will most likely see an expanding trend in your waistline as well. The key is targeting high intensity calorie-burning exercises. Here are my top five calorie burning workouts for the Time Pressed Professional.
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Step Aerobics – one of the most favorite cardio exercises preferred by women, step Aerobics mainly target your legs, hips and glutes, including circuit style, boot camp training and dance-inspired classes can burn approximately 400 calories in 30 minutes. Classes that incorporate strength training along with aerobic exercise help you increase lean muscle mass and increase your metabolic rate.
H.I.I.T (High Intensity Interval Training) – A specialized form of interval training, HIIT is the newest and quickest way to burn fat and gain muscle simultaneously. HIIT involves short intervals of maximum intensity exercise separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise (think P90X or Insanity). The key to HIIT’s success is that it constantly keeps your body guessing and keeps you from hitting a steady state or plateau like with other forms of cardio exercises. Workouts are typically only 20 minutes and burn the same number of calories as an hour of regular exercise. The HIIT approach to cardio exercise is very physically demanding and isn’t for everyone (If you have any cardiovascular problems or other health concerns that limit your ability to exercise at very intense levels, or if you are relatively new to aerobic exercise, HIIT is not for you).
Swimming – An excellent full body, low-impact cardio exercise, swimming allows for significant reduction in stress on the hips, knees and the back. People who find traditional calorie-burning activities like running, kickboxing and dancing too difficult can still raise their heart rate; build lean muscle mass, and burn calories. Take a dive and practice your breast stroke- you can burn about 400 calories in 30 minutes.
Racquetball – The explosive movements side to side, sprinting and lunging that occur during racquetball allow for full body muscle toning and increased flexibility. A 200-lb person can burn over 600 calories in 30 minutes- that’s a weight loss of 33 pounds in one year!
Spinning or Bicycling – whether stationary or outdoors, taking a ride on the bike is a great cardio exercise. Spinning is more of a high-intensity workout to music simulating a challenging bike ride, complete with hills, valleys and varying speeds, all dictated by the group instructor. Depending on resistance and speed, this cardio exercise can burn 250 to 600 calories in just 30 minutes.
Before beginning any new physical activity, check with your physician.