by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
Everyone knows the weight-loss benefits of high-intensity workouts and strong muscle. But, there is also an easier way …
“Go hard or go home!” doesn’t need to be your fitness philosophy. Easy workouts have their place in every fitness program, including one focused on weight loss.
How Easy Helps the Cause
Easy workouts can be done on recovery days, the days after high-intensity routines. They replace the required “day of rest” with a day of light activity to help maintain momentum and burn extra calories. Some of the perks include:
- Keeping you off the couch and away from junk food on otherwise non-exercise days.
- Reducing stress levels and elevating mood.
- Increasing confidence by consistently living a healthy lifestyle every day.
- Working muscles to improve performance on those calorie-blasting days.
- Reducing cortisol circulation, a stress hormone associated with abdominal fat when chronically elevated.
Beginners should start out with easy workouts, regardless. These still help weight loss efforts when accompanied by a healthful diet. Increased caloric intake can undo workouts of any intensity level. Don’t make the common mistake of thinking a light workout (or any workout) cancels out a cheeseburger with fries!
Easy Workout Suggestions
Aquatics: Any movement in the pool meets with the water’s resistance, giving you an instant workout. Walk around the pool, do leg kicks, jog, do underwater arm movements—get creative.
Walking: Take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. Add some structure by including fast-paced intervals.
Play: Toss or kick a ball around your yard. Invite the kids or your dog. Shoot hoops or jump rope. Ride your bike.
Use a fitness ball: Ask a personal trainer to help you create a light exercise routine using a basic fitness ball. Focus on weak areas. Target where you especially want to tone. These do-at-home exercises can enhance your more serious fitness sessions at the Center.
Stretch: Keep muscles and joints happy. Execute a series of yoga postures, Pilates movements, or a T’ai Chi routine. Join a class that meets on your recovery day. This will loosen tired, sore muscles leaving them ready for their next challenge. It also will help avoid injuries.
Research continues to prove myriad ways easy workouts are essential to any fitness program.
- They are effective at helping those with health issues accomplish and maintain a healthy weight, including individuals with metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
- For advanced exercisers, they provide an opportunity to recharge, reduce excess calories, and reduce stress without risking repetitive stress injuries or burnout.
- Beginners can confidently establish a fitness routine without being overwhelmed with frustrating, unrealistic goals.
A personal trainer can help customize your version of an easy workout. The focus should be on physical activity. Anything that keeps you moving when you aren’t officially in your “fitness zone.” The latest findings emphasize the importance of how we spend non-workout time. Don’t spend an hour a day sweating through a workout and remain sedentary the other 23. It counteracts your efforts at weight loss—and overall health.
Easy Workouts to Lose More Weight, by Malia Frey at about.com.
Leisure biking: pixabay.com/en/leisure-holiday-sport-cyclists-372523/
Movement ball: pixabay.com/en/ball-abstract-pattern-lines-443852/