Working out at the gym can easily become a fixed routine involving anything from a quick half-an-hour swim on your lunch break to an intensive two-hour session of cardio and weight training before or after work. For those of us whose schedules don’t always allow much time to exercise for hours on end, there are ways to maximise those precious minutes. Read on for fitness tips on how to burn more calories in less time…
1. Focus on interval training
Working harder for shorter amounts of time might seem counterproductive when thinking about the common ‘no pain no gain’ saying. However, interval training involves just this and has been proven to increase your body’s fat burning capability and hike up the amount of calories burned per session. Rather than hitting the machines at a constant speed, interval training involves short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by low intensity periods (recovery time). This could involve a pattern of a two minute sprint followed by two minutes of moderate walking for the duration of the workout. Getting your body revved up almost from scratch again and again for the intensive part of the workout takes more energy than staying at the same level throughout. Plus, you’ll still carry on burning calories for at least an hour post exercise!
2. Use the incline
While it can be tempting to just get on the treadmill and run, small adjustments can make a huge difference to your workout. Taking advantage of the incline is one way to burn more calories without too much extra effort. Even a slight incline on the treadmill of around 2% will increase the resistance enough to power charge the calorie burning.
Having that incline is the best way to improve a treadmill workout and burn more calories in less time without having to increase the speed or length of the workout.
3. Introduce plyometric exercises
Famously used by athletes in fields such as boxing, plyometrics involves jumping training designed to improve speed, strength and agility. Similarly to interval training, this kind of exercise focuses on short bursts of intensity that have a massive impact on the whole body. Skipping, jump squats and burpees are some of the moves featured in plyometric workouts. This kind of exercise promotes muscle development – increasingly those calorie-burning powerhouses that will help you achieve more with each session.
4. Warm up on the way to gym
If you usually walk to the gym instead of driving there, then a great fitness tip is to use this travel time as an opportunity to warm up beforehand. Fitting in a light jog and some stretches prior to your workout can save you a good 10-15 minutes at the gym. This way, you’ll be ready to get to the proper working out stage in no time at all.
5. Use small windows of time to workout
It’s amazing how much those extra little bursts of activity can add up throughout the day. If you haven’t got the time for a full workout, try to clock up those calorie burning activities a few minutes at a time. Taking the stairs instead of the lift, going for a ten-minute walk at lunchtime, carrying out leg exercises under your desk and wearing discreet ankle weights to add resistance when wandering around work are just some of the possibilities to consider.
Do you have gym tips to add on how to burn more calories in less time? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @AnatomieStyle