How would you like to burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? You don’t need any magic formula to break through a weight-loss plateau or slim down faster. A few simple changes can make your workouts more efficient.
Burning more calories is a matter of what kind of exercises you do and how you do them. Read these tips before your next workout.
Burning More Calories by Changing What You Do
1. Run it off. Running deserves its reputation for keeping you lean. The average adult burns almost 9 calories a minute at a moderate pace. Pumping your arms or carrying weight will raise those figures even more.
2. Take a dip. If you love the water, swimming torches more than 500 calories an hour. If you prefer to stay dry, rowing consumes almost 700.
3. Jump rope. When you’re pressed for time, lose 10 calories a minute by jumping rope. The results will add up quickly.
4. Strap on skates. Skating requires about as much energy as running, but you may have so much fun you’ll forget you’re exercising. Many rinks provide lessons in case you’re a newcomer or want to brush up on the skating skills you learned as a kid.
5. Play sports. Lots of sports provide an intense workout. Basketball and singles tennis can burn over 700 calories an hour. For a gentler experience, how about volleyball or softball for about half those figures.
Burning More Calories by Changing How You Exercise
1. Train in intervals. Many studies show that alternating between high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery periods can double the amount of calories you burn, and those effects continue for hours afterwards. Try jumping rope for two minutes and then walking in place for 3 minutes.
2. Mix it up. Your body quickly adapts to any workout program. Rotate your activities to create a greater challenge.
3. Stand tall. Do you sit down when you spot a free bench at the gym? Remaining on your feet requires more effort as your body works to balance itself.
4. Aim low. Spend more time targeting the bottom half of your body. That’s where the larger muscles are in your hips, glutes, and legs. Pick up the pace with squats and lunges.
5. Keep moving. Shorten the time you spend resting in between exercises. If you’re lifting weights, try doing compound sets. That way your back can recover from pull-ups while your triceps are hard at work doing presses.
6. Eat before and after. Your body will be able to exert more force when you give it the nourishment it needs. Enjoy a small meal high in protein and carbohydrates a few hours before working out, and a similar snack afterwards. Manage portion sizes so you’re not overeating.
7. Invite a friend. Workout buddies and group fitness classes make demanding workouts feel like playtime. Find a friendly coworker who might want to join you for a run after work. Sign up for acroyoga or badminton lessons.
8. Go outdoors. Appreciating the beauty of nature is another way to take your mind off how many miles you’re running or how high a cliff you’re climbing. Research what your local parks and community centers have to offer.
9. Listen to music. Inside and out, a lively soundtrack makes you want to move. Music helps you to coordinate your movements and overcome fatigue.
Keep in mind that safe weight loss usually requires changing the way you eat, as well as becoming more physically active. Combine a balanced diet low in calories with a fat-burning workout program, and you’ll see results sooner.