As always I love coming across a good article that I can share with fellow fitness lovers. This article was a great read. It gives insight into how we can add intensity to our workout without spending tons of extra time in the gym. Hope it gives you some ideas you can use.. Enjoy.
Don’t quit until your fit,
Photo courtesy of Men’s Fitness
We all like to get more done in less time, right? We shop from our computers to forgo waiting in lines at department stores and microwave our foods to cut down on cooking time. Some of us even take multitasking to new levels by checking our email while watching television and sipping our morning coffee. And it makes sense. After all, what do we all want more of when it comes down to it? Time. Although spending time working out is a great way to beat stress and get healthy, most of us are usually trying to squeeze in workouts during our already hectic schedules. And when you are able to get to the gym or find that 30 minutes for cardio, don’t you want to make the most of every minute?
No matter what type of cardio you do, you can burn more calories in the same amount of time with just a few modifications to your current workout.
4. Get intense. 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.
5. Listen to fast music. If you seem to have trouble pumping yourself up for a workout, try popping in those earbuds! In a small study by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, scientists found that when male college students pedaled stationary bicycles while listening to fast popular music, the subjects pedaled faster and elevated their heart rates more. The students even perceived their workouts to be less intense than they actually were. And when the music slowed down? The opposite happened. So listen to music you love and get your cardio on!
6. 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!
7. Speed up. The simplest advice of all for upping your calorie burn? Increase your pace even if it’s just a little bit. The tortoise may have won the race, but the hare burned more calories!
9. Focus. We talk a lot about the importance of the mind-body connection and fitness. Although cardio isn’t as Zen-like as yoga, cardio can still benefit from a strong sense of awareness. The next time you do cardio, focus on the movements and breathing while squeezing those muscles. By engaging your mind, you can actually better engage your muscles, which allows you to complete the exercise more easily and still burn more calories!
10. Don’t work too hard. This might sound counter-intuitive but hear me out. We all know how important intensity is to any workout plan, but also think about how your workout affects the rest of your day. If you spend an hour at the gym sprinting and doing lunges, you might burn 600 calories in a short amount of time, but if that intense workout completely wipes you out for the rest of the day, the extra calorie burn might not be worth it. Be honest with yourself and definitely push yourself, but not so hard that it gets in the way of other daily activities. After all, the goal is to improve your quality of life.
Follow these tips and you will burn more fat and increase your fitness level in no time!
As a trainer, this question has been asked to me a dozen times. I thought this was a very informative answer for those of you who have wondered the same.
Ready to run after those reps?
If you’re keeping score in the debate over which part of your workout comes first, a new study seems to add a point in the column for cardio.
About 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise before hitting the weights results in a bigger boost to your testosterone levels than doing the same workout in reverse order, according to results published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research.
This study doesn’t end the debate, though. For one thing, an increase in testosterone isn’t the only after-effect of a workout. Aerobic exercise also releases a flood of enzymes that can actually block strength training’s muscle-building effects, the researchers caution.
And though you might think the more testosterone, the better, research on whether this initial hormonal surge leads to more strength gains later on isn’t conclusive, trainer Marc Perry, C.S.C.S., C.P.T., founder of BuiltLean, tells MensHealth.com.
Perry typically recommends that if you can’t do weights and cardio in separate sessions, do weights first for the greatest gains in strength, power, and muscle mass. That’s especially true, he says, if:
- Your cardio of choice is something other than cycling, which is what study participants did. Running, swimming, or rowing may cause more fatigue that compromises your lifting form.
- You push your cardio past a moderate effort—for instance, by doing interval workouts. You’ll be too spent to lift if you do them first.
- You’re doing complex moves—such as Olympic lifts—or using heavy weights. If you hit the treadmill first, you may be too tired to execute them correctly.
But, Perry notes, there are a few cases in which cardio can come first. For instance, if:
- You like it better—it’ll help you stick to your plan. “If someone hates doing weights before cardio, it doesn’t matter if they’re going to get slightly better results, because they’re not going to do it,” Perry says.
- You’re not as young as you used to be. “For older individuals who need a proper warmup, doing a good 10 to 20 minutes of aerobic activity before strength training can be sensible,” Perry says.
- Your main goal is to increase endurance. It’s best to stick with your primary goal first, so you stay focused and don’t skip it