“When people tell me they can’t afford to join a gym, I tell them to go outside; planet Earth is a gym and we’re already members. Run, climb, sweat, and enjoy all of the natural wonder that is available to you.” – Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You
The combination of weight training, aerobic exercise and sound eating habits have shown to be the most effective for fat loss and toning. Toning is simply the simultaneous decrease of fat and restoration of muscle.
Every year after the age of 25, the average person gains two kilograms of body weight, yet loses one third to one half kilograms of muscle. Consequently, our resting metabolism decreases approximately one half of a percent every year. Proper exercise and sound eating habits can reverse this process.
While aerobic exercise burns fat during exercise, anaerobic exercises, like resistance training, utilise fat hours after exercise. Resistance training can also increase the metabolic rate a second way. It restores muscle tissue that had been lost over the years from a sedentary modern lifestyle, thus improving the aesthetics of the body by accentuating its curves and shape. Furthermore, two kilograms of muscle burns approximately 30 – 50 calories per day. In contrast, two kilograms of body fat burns about three calories per day. This may not seem significant considering two kilograms of fat contains 3500 calories. Although, over the course of years, it certainly adds up.
Resistance training exercises that use large muscle groups (e.g. Gluteus Maximus, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Chest & Back exercises) with a progressively greater resistance, have the most potential for restoring lean body weight and elevating the metabolism hours after exercise.
Most people do not have to worry about getting too big when training with weights. Evidence suggests that less than 20 percent of men and very few women can develop large muscles even if they wanted to, regardless of what program they follow. Bodybuilders seen on tv typically, have trained for years, poses a certain degree of genetics and most likely have used some form of growth agent to assist muscle gain.
When beginning an exercise program, muscle mass increases may initially out pace fat loss, resulting in a very small temporary weight gain. When exercise can be increased over time, more significant fat loss can occur. Unless an exerciser is highly motivated, actual weight loss is usually only seen with particular dietary improvements.