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Finding Enjoyable Physical Activities for Fat Loss

This is part 4 of our series of the principles of fat loss you can find the parts 1-4 here:

In our journey towards fat loss, we've discussed the significance of beneficial eating habits to help control calorie consumption and how to increase the quality of the food you do eat to help you stay consistent. Now, let's delve into the realm of physical activity and how it contributes to maintaining muscle mass, burning calories effectively, and improving your overall health. 

When it comes to how much physical activity you need for health, I like to reference the recommendations for Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. They suggest getting 2 days a week of strength training and 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (we’ll define this in a minute). This is a great place to start for everyone. And if you are trying to lose weight, getting these numbers in consistently, with a caloric deficit from nutrition, will provide enough physical activity to help you maintain your muscle mass and burn body fat.

One of the biggest hurdles people face when it comes to exercise is finding activities they genuinely enjoy. Exercise doesn’t always have to feel like a chore; it can be something you look forward to. When you find physical activities that you genuinely enjoy, you're more likely to stick with them in the long run. Whether it's working out with weights, bands, jogging, dancing, hiking, cycling, swimming, or playing a sport, the options are endless.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Fat Loss:

1. 2 Days per Week of Strength Training: Incorporating strength training into your routine is crucial for maintaining muscle mass while losing fat. Aim to engage in strength training activities at least two to three times per week. This could include exercises such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance band workouts. Your effort should be an 8/10 on the Rate of Perceived Effort (RPE) Scale to make sure you are appropriately challenged and you are making progress. Focus on compound movements that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously for maximum efficiency.

2. Cardiovascular Exercise: Cardiovascular exercise is essential for burning calories and improving heart health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio.

moderate-intensity cardio are activities that are easy enough to do for an hour while having a conversation, but after 45-60 minutes will make you tired. These include activities like: going for a brisk walk, playing pickle ball, doing yard work. 

- vigorous-intensity cardio include activities that require a short break every 5-10 minutes to recoup. Think activities like: running, doing met-con classes at AMPT Fitness, and cycling up hills. 

3. Flexibility and Mobility Work: Don’t overlook the importance of flexibility and mobility in your fitness routine. Incorporating activities such as yoga, Pilates, or stretching exercises can help improve flexibility, mobility, and overall movement quality. Plus, these activities can aid in recovery and reduce the risk of injury, allowing you to stay consistent with your workouts. This also includes your RAMP and Regenerations blocks in your AMPT program. 

4. Active Lifestyle: In addition to structured exercise sessions, focus on incorporating physical activity into your daily life. This could include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking or biking to work, gardening, or playing with your kids or pets. Every little bit of movement adds up and contributes to your overall calorie expenditure and overall health. 

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to exercise. Experiment with different activities until you find what works best for you. The key is to engage in these activities frequently and make physical activity a priority in your daily life. By finding enjoyable activities that allow you to both maintain muscle and burn calories, you'll not only achieve your fat loss goals but also improve your overall health and well-being in the process.

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