One of the most common questions trainers receive about working out is whether it is better to work out for a long time or to pick a shorter, more efficient workout style. Most people would say that doing anything is better than nothing, so if the idea of spending an hour or more in the gym every day puts you off of exercise then participate in a 20- to 30-minute routine instead and you will still benefit. As to the overall benefits of either approach, the answer might surprise you.
Short Workouts for Weight Loss
If you want to get in shape quickly then the best way to do that is to workout every day for a short time. You will need to select your routine carefully; not every routine is good enough to yield quick, significant results in just a few weeks. An aerobic workout is excellent for bone health, enjoyment, circulation, improving fitness and so on. Aerobics do not tend to burn as much fat per hour, however, as intense, short workouts do.
Aerobics vs. Weight Training
People who love fitness tend to think of aerobics as the sort of class involving lots of impact and choreography. A class can take an hour with the warm-up and cool down included plus perhaps some abdominal exercises thrown in. Aerobics as we have come to know them do not involve weights although modern adaptations of the traditional aerobic routine add them in here and there. They are a lot of fun and very social if you go to a gym but there are also lots of excellent videos. With enough space at home you can get sweaty and enjoy yourself at the same time.
When you add weights to a routine or to weight-bearing movements, there are dual benefits. One is that you are building muscle. Another is you're burning fat more quickly. Third is that you still work your heart as muscle-building requires a lot of blood flow and effort. Fourthly, you feel good. Building muscle allows you to lay down calorie-burning mass, so you also prepare your body to burn calories while you sleep. If you continue with weight training long term, it is likely you are learning good posture and core strength whereas dancing or aerobics do not tend to teach that except during stationary postures or floor exercises.
Eating for Fitness
You might also notice hunger pangs more frequently throughout the day. Satisfy these with protein, vegetables, and fluids. Visit fitness websites for some ideas about how to feed muscle growth efficiently and some supplements that will aid in the care and restoration of your muscles. There's no sense starving yourself: you'll just starve your muscles.
How Long to Workout
Weight training burns more calories per hour than aerobics. That means you can complete a thorough fitness routine for upper or lower body in just thirty minutes. Your heart will still be pumping and you might be sweating at the end, but you can cram this short blast into a busy day far more easily than you can fit in a whole hour.