These fab fitness tricks can help ramp up your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Add these activities into your everyday fitness routine, and they're sure to add up to some big results!
1. Step it up with intervals
When you train in intervals, you add bursts of high intensity exercises into your workout. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that, after interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous, moderate paced cycling exercised increased by 36%. These bursts of high intensity exercise burn off more fat than steadily paced exercise. To change your body, you have to shock your body.
2. Divide and conquer
Who says you don’t have the time to workout? Breaking up your workout into two 20-minute exercise sessions spread throughout the day can be even more effective than spending an hour at the gym because your metabolism is revved up for 1-2 hours after a workout. Time is on your side! (Psst, need suggestions? See 5 Ways to Build Lean Muscle Fast )
3. Find your inner peace
Stress can be a huge contributor to belly fat. One study out of the University of California linked cortisol, a stress hormone that increases your appetite and encourages fat storage around your abdomen, to environmental and emotional stresses. The best way to fight cortisol is to lower the stress in your life. Find activities that you enjoy that lower your stress levels. Some activities proven to reduce stress are yoga, or long walks with good friends.
4. Break routine, get sporty
Challenge your body by trying new sport or exercise class. Even if you’re a dedicated runner or live for your circuit training, a new activity is sure to work your muscles in a new way and “shock” your body into working harder.
5. Lift heavy
Once a week, train with heavier weights than you usually use. When you lift heavier, you challenge your muscles, and the result is lean, strong muscle mass. While cardio may burn more calories during exercise, that muscle mass will burn more calories for 24 hours after exercise. Plus, weightlifters burn fat tissue almost exclusively, while cardio devotees burn both fat and some muscle, according to a University of Alabama study. Lifting will help cut the fat and help you tone up.
6. Sleep it off
Remember cortisol? Lack of sleep increases the stress hormone, too. Lack of sleep also increases levels of insulin, and makes it more difficult to process carbs throughout the day, according to research from the University of Chicago. Sleep is your time to recharge the batteries that run your metabolism. Get at least 6 hours a night to start out fresh and ready in the morning.
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, best-selling author, and entrepreneur. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants’ to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Extra, The Doctors and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and on Pinterest.