Alright, let’s jump right in because I know you’re itching to learn about a few cool (and smart) ways you can torch more calories during your next workout!
1. Listen to music
This is something I mentioned today on Instagram, and logic behind popping in your headphones and cranking up the volume to burn more calories is due to the fact that music can help boost your level of “hype” and thus boost exercise endurance and calorie burn by 20% – as determined by a study from Brunel University School of Sport and Education. Also, researchers in that same study found that there is in fact a “sweet spot” in terms of the type music you should choose for your playlist if you want to best tap into music’s exercise effects, and according to research the tempo of your music should be between 120-140 beats per minute (bpm) – think Turn Me On by David Guetta with Nicki Minaj.
2. Take your workouts outdoors
I’m a huge fan of exercising outdoors for a number of reasons, most especially because it’s just nice way to get a healthy dose of fresh air and lovely scenery. In addition to that, research does show that outdoor exercisers on average burn more calories when compared to gym rats, and the reason behind this makes a lot of sense. Take jogging outdoors for example. Basically, when we compare jogging on a treadmill vs. jogging outdoors at the same pace, the end result will most always be a more intense workout due to outdoor factors like uneven terrain, humidity, and even wind factor – which will all result in our bodies working harder outdoors, which will then result in greater calorie burn.
3. Crank up the incline and take your hands off the treadmill
Yes we ladies do love a good treadmill workout! Which is why I wanted to include this tip about cranking up the incline and taking hands off the treadmill because it’s a mistake that I commonly see at the gym and it’s also something that I mention in my book That’s Why We Get Fat. Now many women (and men) aren’t aware of this, but holding onto the treadmill while you walk or run will not only decrease workout intensity and calorie burn significantly, it can also lead to stress on your shoulders and back, which could then lead to serious injury! So if you’re one of the countless women who loves the treadmill, do yourself a favor and take your hands off the treadmill’s handlebars, and also increase the incline a bit. Then, while you’re exercising, make sure to maintain good posture and form, and get a good pumping/swinging motion to your arms– which altogether can easily boost calorie burn by up to 40%! One more thing: If you’re unsure about how much to increase the incline, just inch up slowly, 1% at a time. The key is to maintain comfort, speed and form – and generally speaking a good incline to shoot for is 5%.
4. Shorten your workout, and increase intensity
So when it comes to exercise (and life), I like to tell people that a good rule of thumb to live by is to work smarter, and not necessarily harder. That understood, let’s now talk HIIT – aka high intensity interval training – which involves short, intense bursts of exercise with slow recovery phases (think sprinting) – rather than longer, more traditional workouts (think jogging). Simply put: Studies show that HIIT is much better at burning calories in less time and can also boost our metabolism 24+ hours after exercise! Plus, HIIT workouts tend to be much shorter than traditional workouts, which means for those of you under tight schedules, HIIT can prove to be the holy grail of workouts because they’re easier to schedule and easier to commit to. Win-win!
5. Hydrate pre-workout with cold water
Finally, let’s wrap things up with a little H2O! So we all know the importance of drinking ample water each day, but it also appears that the temperature of our water can play into calorie burn too as determined by a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition which found that drinking cold water can help energize the body for a better workout, especially when that workout is performed outdoors in warm weather. And more specifically, that same study found that exercisers who drank refrigerated water at 39°F were able to exercise 25% longer than those who drank the same amount of water at a warmer temperature. Plus, the cold water drinkers even said that their exercise sessions felt easier too! Now I’m sure we all can agree that’s pretty cool! *pun intended*
And that wraps up our 5 cool ways to burn more calories during exercise. Be sure to use these simple strategies so you can start torching more calories, and if you know any other cool ways to boost calorie burn during exercise that you’d like to share, let me know in the comments!
Peace, Love, & Healthy Living! – Doc