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How do I Choose the Best Exercises to Burn Fat?

Jessica Ellis
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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Burning fat is a key component to losing weight. Choosing the best exercises to burn fat may seem like an unnecessarily complicated process, since there are so many options available and supported by various experts. In order to find exercises to burn fat, it is important to understand how the body burns fuel.

Whether jogging on a treadmill or sitting on the couch, the body is busily burning calories from both fat and carbohydrate stores. The body may not pull from these sources equally; generally at higher levels of exertion, a person will burn more carbohydrates than fat. This leads to a confused concept that higher intensity exercise will help burn fat faster than low intensity exercises, when in fact it may be the other way around.

While lower intensity exercises, such as walking, burn a higher percentage of fat than a high intensity exercise, like running, the high intensity exercise will burn more calories overall. If a person walked for 20 minutes, he might burn 100 calories, with 60 calories, or 60%, from fat. If that same person jogged for 20 minutes instead, he or she might burn 200 calories, with 80 calories, or about 40%, from fat. In this case, the high intensity exercise still burns more fat overall, even with a lower percentage rate.

There are many types of exercises to burn fat, including any kind of cardiovascular workout. This may include running, swimming, interval training, dancing, or rowing. The key to finding exercises to burn fat are finding activities that do not get boring or cause too much stress on the body. One enormous cardiovascular workout that burns a person out for the rest of the week will do far less good than smaller, more enjoyable exercises spaced throughout the week. Perseverance, not intensity or style, is generally the most important part of finding exercises to burn fat.

Strength training can be an excellent form of fat-burning exercise that has multiple benefits. Strength training, such as lifting weights, helps build lean muscle, which burns more calories than fat. By increasing muscle mass, a person actually raises the amount of calories he or she burns every day. Some fitness activities emphasize the importance of strength training in a fat burning routine, not only for its calorie-busting properties, but also because building stronger muscles helps reduce the chance of injury, thereby making it easier to stay on track with a routine.

For people sick of the same old treadmill and weight machine routine, there are a variety of adventurous outdoor exercises to burn fat. Mountain climbing, whether indoors or out, is a fantastic total body workout that has the added benefit of constant mental engagement. Ice skating is not simply for kids and Christmas; taking an ice skating class can help build muscle and improve balance, while giving a person a nifty set of skills to show off. For those fond of the urban jungle, consider finding out about the French sport of parkour, which treats every landscape like an obstacle course and encourages practitioners to jump or climb over any object in their path, from walls to mailboxes.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGEEK. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

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Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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