You want to trim the fat around your arms, shoulders and torso -- but you don't want to fuss with a lot of different exercises. Good news, girl -- you don't have to. All those complicated workouts or fancy machines that are touted as the "best" in fat blasting will probably help you reduce your flab, but it doesn't have to be that complicated. When you want to cut fat, you just have to get moving.
One prevailing myth that seems to creep around every gym is that working one muscle group -- called spot reduction -- will help you reduce the fat in that area. For example, you might hear that doing endless pushups is the best way to tone the upper body and core. Sure, that's going to strengthen the muscles in that area, but it's not going to do much for reducing the fat that's surrounding those muscles. To lose fat in one area, you have to do exercises that cut overall body fat, reminds ExRx.
Top Calorie Burner
Cutting body fat involves doing exercises that get your heart pumping. Swimming, walking, cycling, inline skating or any type of cardio will do, but when it comes to burning the most calories, you won't find an exercise more efficient than running or jogging. Jogging at an 8-mile-per-hour pace will burn about 861 calories per hour for a 160-pound person, or about 1,074 for a 200-pound person, according to MayoClinic.com. If you're looking for that one exercise that can help you cut fat the fastest, stick with running. While your legs are the primary movers, your arms also get into the action, helping propel you forward and turning the exercise into a total-body workout.
Cutting fat involves cutting calories, but exercise is only one part of the equation. To lose a pound of overall body fat, you have to burn 3,500 more calories than you take in. Say you're about 160 pounds and you run five days a week for about 30 minutes at a slower 5-mph pace, burning about 303 calories per day. In a week's time you'll burn about 1,515 calories. That's assuming you're eating about the same number of calories as you have in the past. If you want to lose fat even faster, try trimming calories from your diet. Cut out sugary foods, sodas, alcohol or high-fat foods, aiming to cut another 250 calories each day, and you'll cut another 1,750 calories, making it possible to lose close to 1 pound of fat per week.
You wanted to know one great exercise you can do to help you burn fat -- but if you're the type who dislikes running, you may be less than excited about the prospect of tracking endless miles. Behold, the short-term alternative that helps you boost your metabolism for the entire day afterward, as well as blasting abdominal fat, is the high-intensity interval training workout. Called "HIIT" for short, this workout involves running in short bursts at about 80 to 95 percent of your maximum output, followed by periods of recovery. After a five-minute warm-up, sprint for one minute and then slow down to a slow jog for two minutes. Do that cycle four to eight times for a short workout that really packs a punch.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.