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What is the best exercise for losing body fat & gaining muscle?

Last updated on October 24, 2017

Combining regular physical exercise with a calorie-reduced diet is an effective method to shed those unwanted pounds. If your goal is to lose weight and gain muscle, you will need to add regular strength-training exercises to an aerobic workout routine.

Strength training
Whether you are an active triathlon athlete or you have just purchased your fist gym membership, you can add strength training to your workouts to reduce body fat and help burn calories more efficiently while improving lean muscle mass. The type of strength training you choose will depend on the area of the body you want to alter.

Examples of strength training include weight lifting, pushups, situps and stair climbing. To improve back, arm and chest muscles, add weight lifting to your routine. If you don’t like using weights, pushups will also help target these areas. Situps will tighten flabby abs, while stair climbing will sculpt the lower part of the body including the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes.

The American College of Sports Medicine suggests adults train each muscle group two or three days per week using a variety of exercises and eequipment. Completing two to four sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise will help you gain muscle.

Aerobic exercise
Regardless of your age, athletic ability or weight, aerobic exercise is good for you. Mayo Clinic recommends getting started with 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week is the first step toward loosing excess body fat. Regular aerobic exercise not only increases stamina, it is also an effective way to shed unwanted pounds and keep them off. Examples of aerobic exercise include swimming, dancing, running, biking and walking, which just happens to be one of the most natural forms of aerobic exercise.

Outdoor alternatives
Rock climbing is great outdoor option to the gym. With repeated reaches and holds, climbers are rewarded with a strengthened core and muscle gain in their arms, back, shoulders, fingers, calves, and hamstrings. Remember, you can take your rock climbing activities indoors during the hot summer months.

Harvest the benefits of gardening! Gardeners may be happy to learn that heavy gardening can also be included as a strength-training exercise. The repetition of squatting is an excellent way to work your quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles, while pushing heavy loads of dirt can help tone arms, legs and core muscles.

Regardless of which exercise you choose to help lose weight and gain muscle, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of activity each day. If you are a sedentary person or have been not been exercising regularly, consult with your healthcare professional before beginning a new exercise program. For additional instruction, meet with a personal trainer.


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