Sunday, June 28, 2009

6 Ways to Burn More Calories

by SHAPE Magazine, on Tue Jun 16, 2009

You can burn an extra 1,000 calories a week (and more!) with our simple tips.

1. Add 10 minutes in the morning
While you may be religious about going to the gym after work, waking up 10 minutes earlier in the morning and taking a walk around the block (or, alternatively, simply dancing to your morning radio show for 10 minutes) will let you start off your day with a faster-burning metabolism and, most likely, head off to work in a better mood than usual. Calorie-burning boost: 275 calories per week

2. Do intervals
When you alternate high-intensity cardio work with moderate-intensity recovery periods, you boost your calorie burning and increase your fitness level. This will help you break through plateaus.

Here's how: Warm up for 5 minutes, then increase speed or resistance on the machine for 2-5 minutes. Return to your usual pace for 5 minutes, then continue with short bursts interspersed with a moderate pace for the rest of your workout. Cool down for 5 minutes at a slower pace.
When you're ready to progress, make the work part of the interval longer and decrease the recovery time (but never to less than 30 seconds). For example, you could do 6 minutes at a higher speed and rest for 3 minutes. Calorie-burning boost: 300-450 calories per 45 minutes
3. Work out with a faster partner
Whether it's in the gym or on the neighborhood track, a fit buddy will challenge you to keep up and exercise at a higher intensity. It's the friendliest way to kick your own butt! Plus, workouts go faster accompanied by good conversation.Calorie-burning boost: Simply increasing your walk from 3 mph to 4 mph will burn almost 100 extra calories in 60 minutes.

4. Jump rope on your coffee breaks
Sound silly? It won't after you read the numbers. Slip off your pumps and put on your sneakers, then head off to a corner with a jump-rope. This quick heart-pumping activity is also weight-bearing, so your muscles and bones will benefit. And you'll probably feel completely energized, too. Calorie-burning boost: You can burn 208 calories on two 10-minute breaks each day (that's 1,000 calories a week)!

5. Go longer
If your typical workout is 30 minutes -- no shorter, no longer -- here's an easy way to challenge yourself. Twice a week, try adding 10 or 15 minutes to your cardio. You'll burn more calories and increase your cardiovascular endurance level, making your weekend hikes and bike rides easier. To adapt your workout to your higher fitness level, every two weeks up your intensity level by increasing resistance or incline on the machine or road. Calorie-burning boost: Running 30 extra minutes on the treadmill each week can burn 400 calories.

6. Change equipment or activities
If you always head right for the treadmill, take a step class or get on the elliptical trainer and step up the intensity. This may increase the calorie burn of your workout because our bodies work less efficiently doing new exercises than those we're used to. Periodically shifting activities will also decrease the chance of an overuse injury and keep your workouts fresh and fun. Calorie-burning boost: Step aerobics vs. walking at 3.5 mph burns 237 vs. 177 calories in 30 minutes.

Visit for 4 more ways to boost your calorie burn.

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