Updated: Oct 3, 2019
With beach weather and summer fast approaching in Australia, many of us are noticing a little extra jiggle where there wasn't some. Its normal to pack on a few kilos over the cooler season, but it can feel rather discouraging. You know you need to add better food choices, exercise and fitness on to the mounting pile of things you need to get done every day, and it can all too often get shelved! Too hard basket, right?
Kicking off Summer 2019 is going to be different. This is the season you are going to totally nail it. Own it! And it's going to start with getting moving... every day!
There are so many ways to crank it up AND enjoy yourself working out and burn more kilojoules in the same amount of time. Here's a few easy modifications to your current workout or use to start a fitness program.
Do cardio first
Many clients have asked me, "Should I do weights or cardio first?" If you want to up your calorie burn (and who doesn't?), research shows that you should do cardio first.
Published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, one study examined how many calories exercisers burned doing one of four workout combinations: running only, strength training only, running followed by strength training, and strength training followed by running.
Researchers found that while all exercisers experienced a strong "after burn" (a higher rate of calories burned when at rest after exercise) for the two hours after working out, the strength training and run/strength training groups had the highest exercise after burn of all.
So what does this mean? Although it's just one study, the takeaway is that we might burn more calories after working out if we do our cardio first.
If you consider yourself an intermediate or advanced exerciser and are looking for ways to burn more calories, plyometrics are the way to go. These high-intensity, explosive exercises such as jumping and hopping, get your heart rate up quickly, which equals a higher rate of calories burned.
Additionally, these athletic movements really target your fast-twitch muscles, coordination and agility, so you're training your body in an entirely new and challenging way. And challenging workouts almost always equal results—and more calories burned. Because using proper form is essential when doing these advanced high-impact moves, consider learning the ropes first!
Use your whole body
Most cardio exercises focus on the lower body (biking, walking, elliptical, stair climbing, etc.), but if you want to burn more calories, one easy tip is to incorporate your upper body. Pump those arms hard and high when running and walking, make sure to grab the elliptical with moving handles, and even consider adding a more full-body exercise to your cardio mix such as the rowing machine. The more muscles you move, the more calories you will burn!
If you're serious about wanting to burn more calories, then it's time to up the intensity. Bump up your incline and resistance if you're on a piece of gym equipment, or walk a hillier route than usual if you exercise outdoors.
To increase the burn, you need to get out of your cardio comfort zone. And when you do, the benefits can be big. In a study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports Medicine in 2002, researchers found that intense exercise resulted in the greatest fat burn (compared to light intensity exercise and no exercise at all) during the hours following a workout—and that fat burn continued for 11 hours.
Add some intervals
By varying your intensity through different intervals (think one minute running then two minutes walking), you can actually improve your fitness more quickly than by steady state cardio, and you can burn more calories. The bonus? Time seems to fly when you add interval training!
Use proper form
Do you hold on to the handles when you run on the treadmill? Maybe you lean on the handlebars during spinning class or hunch over while walking on the Stairmaster. If you use these machines, you need to use proper form in order to burn more calories. As a general rule, keep your arms moving freely and naturally, keep your abs in, your weight centered over your hips, and your shoulders down and back. Not only does proper form keep you from getting injured, it also ups your calorie burn since your core is engaged. Bonus!
Follow these tips and you will burn more fat and increase your fitness level in no time!
Are you confused on what to do to lose the stubborn baby fat? Confused on reading nutrition labels? Want to get more organised with fitness plan and meal prep? Let me help you sort it all out...book a FREE 15 minute Discovery session!