It is already hard enough trying to find the time and energy to exercise in the midst of your schedule filled with work, school, friends, family, and sleep. Many of us women want to see visible goals being achieved in order to make exercise a priority in our busy lives, which is why we’re sharing the 6 best tips to help you burn more calories! This may be hard to hear if you’re accustomed to running hours upon hours on a treadmill each week, but there are definitely more effective and quicker ways to lose weight, get past your fitness plateaus, and see definition throughout your body.
1. The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm
Let’s be real: How many times have you planned on exercising at the end of the day, only to find yourself exhausted by that point? Chances are, you ended up pushing the workout off “until tomorrow”. Yes – I am guilty of having done this, too.
Instead, wake up earlier than usual in order to get your workout over with in the beginning of the day. Really not a morning person? At least start your day off with some sort of exercise. This little bit of extra time can be used to do more stretching, which is not only important for recovery and flexibility, but also for keeping your muscles long and lean. You can also do simple bodyweight exercises or follow a short workout video.
2. Exercise Every Hour of the Day
Don’t panic, I don’t mean run a mile at every hour of the day. By this I mean set your alarm to go off every hour and move around for even just a minute! One to a few minutes of movement at each hour will allow your body to be in action at regular intervals all day long. Get in the habit of utilizing as much time as you can to burning extra calories and you will feel so much more energetic throughout your day.
3. Distraction During Cardio
When I want to go on a long-distance run on the treadmill or a lengthy spin on the cycling machine in order to build up my endurance, I often watch my favorite television series while doing so. This keeps my mind off of my tiredness that I feel when exercising, while also catching up on any episodes that I’ve missed. If I decide to do interval training while on the treadmill, elliptical, or cycling machine, I usually pop in my headphones and listen to music that will vary my heart rate and keep me motivated throughout the workout. These distractions will take your mind off of how much you just want to leave the gym and eat pizza on your bed, thus making you exercise more and burn more calories.
4. Focus on Building Muscles
Although us females are notorious for being cardio bunnies, building muscles is crucial for burning more calories. Since muscle cells actually require the use of more energy than fat cells do, your body needs to burn more calories to help support the muscle cells. This is why it is important to break up the cardio you do with at least a few days of strength training each week. While strength training, you will burn more calories by focusing on increasing the size of your weights rather than the number of reps that you do. This is how lean muscle tissue is built.
5. Make Every Workout a Full-Body Workout
Stagnant exercises that you probably consider as being easy are usually isolation exercises, which means that they only target one muscle. These include simple bicep curls, calf raises, and triceps press-downs. Although these could never be “bad” to do, there are certainly other exercises that burn a lot more calories and take up a lot less time. This is because they are meant to target more than one muscle group at a time, and us females are ALL ABOUT multi-tasking. When I really want to pack in compound exercises into my workout, I love heading to a local barre studio for a class, which really emphasizes this effective method of exercise. Some compound exercises are lunges with lateral raises, squats with shoulder presses, and jumping jacks with overhead dumbbell presses.
6. Incorporate Interval Training
The more time that you spend at the gym does not necessarily mean the more calories that you burned. Interval training alternates between high-intensity exercise and low-intensity active resting exercises, which burns more calories and fat in half the time than traditional workouts do. Before hopping on the treadmill, I always look up on my phone some interval running exercises, which constantly alternate walking and running for usually a total of about 20 minutes. Other options are speed cycling paired with moderate cycling, or inclined walking paired with downhill walking.
These small, yet effective, changes to your daily life and workout routines will leave you seeing results so quickly you’ll regret all of those hours you spent doing the same, boring workout routine every day. If you want to burn more calories each day without even dedicating more time to the cause, follow these tips and let us know about your results!