If "multitasker" is your middle name, then you're all about workouts that accomplish more than one thing at a time. Exercising to lose weight will help you look and feel better, while also improving your physical fitness. To get the most possible from your exercise sessions, go with workouts that burn calories so you can shed fat and tone your muscles to boost strength and metabolism while giving your body a leaner look.
Warm up for five minutes to loosen your joints and warm up your muscles by walking at a relaxed pace. Do this outdoors or inside, if you're choosing to exercise at home or inside a gym.
Perform three minutes of heart-pumping cardio exercise to begin your circuit training program. Jog in place, jump rope, do jumping jacks, or use your favorite cardio equipment, such as a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical. Kick your pace up a notch from your warmup by moving at a rate that causes you to sweat lightly, while allowing you to carry on a conversation but not sing.
Transition immediately from cardio to strength training as you stop your three-minute cardio segment and move into your first muscle-toning exercise. Start with the upper body by using dumbbells or kettlebells to perform bicep curls; perform curls for 45 seconds.
Move right into your next cardio segment without pausing. Perform the same cardio as before or mix it up by doing something different. Follow the three-minute segment with another 45 seconds of strength training, such as tricep kickbacks to work those jiggly arms.
Alternate three minutes of cardio with 45 seconds of strength training to complete at least seven to 14 cycles for a 30- to 60-minute workout. Perform strength training moves to work various muscles groups, such as chest presses, arm raises, squats, lunges and calf raises.
Cool down for five minutes to let your heart rate and rate of breathing slow to normal. Walk around at a relaxed pace for five minutes. Stretch your muscles by standing and reaching toward the sky for 20 counts, and then touch your toes and hold the stretch for a count of 20.
Warm up for five minutes with a short, relaxed walk or by performing your usual cardio at a slower pace, such as pedaling your bike more slowly, or swimming, jogging or using the treadmill at a low intensity.
Pick up the pace and start moving at a moderate intensity in which you can speak to others but don't have enough breath to sing a song. Move at this intensity for your first regular-pace interval of four to five minutes.
Progress into your first faster-paced interval by moving at a more vigorous pace in which you have to pause for a breath after speaking just a few words. Continue this faster pace for a total 30 to 60 seconds.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the entirety of your workout for fat loss and cardiovascular fitness.
- Check with your doctor before starting any new workout program.
- Give your muscles a one-day break between strength or circuit training sessions so they can recover.
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.