Rev your calorie burn without needing to exercise for even a minute
Would you like to burn more calories without spending extra time at the gym? Well really, who wouldn’t? In our time-poor society, it’s all about getting maximum gain in the most efficient way possible. Making just a few small tweaks to your exercise regime can amp up your calorie burn, so give these workout hacks a try:
1. Add weight
When it comes to burning calories through weight training, it’s all about the volume you’re lifting, not the amount of reps. Research shows that when exercisers lifted the same total volume but with different weights and reps, it was those using the heavy weights for fewer reps that burned approximately 25 per cent more calories by the end of the workout. "Heavy weights create more protein breakdown in the muscle, so your body has to use more energy to repair and recover,” says researcher Anthony Caterisano, PhD. In turn this creates lean muscle mass which has the positive effect of raising your basal metabolic rate (BMR) so you actually burn more calories 24/7.
2. Go outside
Aside from the benefit of interesting scenery, hitting the ground running outdoors can really rev up your calorie burn. Running or walking outdoors has been proven to burn an extra 10 per cent of calories when compared to doing the activity at the same speed on a treadmill. "You use more energy to propel yourself over the ground," explains fitness expert Jay Blahnik, author of Full Body Flexibility, "and pushing a little against the wind or other elements burns more calories, too." If you usually warm up before a weights session, try jogging outside of the gym and then head inside for the lifting.
3. Up the incline
If you are working out on the treadmill, push yourself by upping the incline to increase your calorie burn by up to 60 per cent, plus get a toned backside. Aiming for somewhere between a 5-7 per cent incline is ideal.
Prevention Magazine recommends the following method for safely raising the level on your treadmill:
- Don't lean. Maintain an upright posture; keep your shoulders over your hips; your hips over your ankles.
- Start easy. Do a 5-minute slow walk and then a 10-minute brisk pace before adding your first hill.
- Go 5 and 5. Alternate 5-minute hills with 5 minutes of level walking. Repeat as often as you like. Cool down for 5 minutes.
4. Use high intensity bursts
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be the most effective strategy for burning a large amount of calories in a short amount of time and is especially good for burning fat. The basic idea involves alternating low to moderate intensity intervals with high intensity burst of vigorous exercise. If you don’t already use this technique in your training, now is the time to google “HIIT workouts” and start reaping the rewards from putting in the short and hard yards. As a bonus, in one study, participants of a HIIT program burned nearly 100 more calories per day during the 24 hours after exercise too.
5. Swing your arms
Getting those fists pumping as your walk can increase your calorie burn by up to 15 per cent. Holding your arms with a 90-degree elbow bend, push forward with each step as you power away. The movement is thought to encourage a quicker pace and also adds another dimension to your activity, equating to a heightened calorie burn over the course of the workout. It’s kind of fun too!