Start the new year with a bang and burn fat with these 6 tips for a lean summer body from health and fitness specialist Amy Barnes.
Two times a year conversations about weight loss increase. Of course, there’s January when your gym is likely packed with people and their New Year’s resolutions. The second time is almost half a year later – when the weather warms up and people want to look and feel their best for the summertime months. So if you are currently wishing you could shed a few pounds before summer is in full swing, or if you’d like to jump start a weight loss journey, here are some great ways to take your calorie burn up a notch and see results faster than you thought possible.
Be In Constant Motion
How much do you move each day? To maximize calorie burn, you can’t just hit a gym class or go for a jog and then retire on your butt the rest of the day. You need to be active all day. You can easily transition your life from sedentary to full of motion with lots of small changes. Wake up and move more. Pay attention during the day and stay on your feet more than you sit down. If you have a desk job, consider a standing workstation. That’s what I did, and my Ergotron Workstation is helping me burn approx 200-300 extra calories a day not to mention helping to reduce my back stiffness. Or at the very least, stand up when you use the phone. If you are somewhere you can pace while using the phone, even better. People in constant motion burn more calories. Studies have shown fidgeters burn about 200 extra calories a day. So I’m serious when I say: Take the stairs and not the elevator, look for a parking spot close to the store and make a game out of it – see how much movement you can work into your day.
Get Programmed Exercise and Spontaneous Exercise
Most days of the week you should be getting both programmed and spontaneous exercise. Consider your spontaneous exercise as all the extra motion we just talked about. Programmed exercise includes your scheduled workouts on your calendar each day. View your days as a blank slate opportunity to get both planned and random exercise. It will mean you are moving more and burning more calories.
Eat Foods That Rev Up Your Metabolism
If you want to rev up your metabolism – your fat-burning engine – consume some of these metabolism boosting foods: Water to stay hydrated instead of hungry. Green tea for its powerful antioxidants so you can keep your engine fine tuned and fruits and veggies to boost your immunity and improve your digestion. Eat other foods often referred to as metabolic machines, like oatmeal.
Pay Attention To What You Eat and When
Differences in what you eat after you exercise impact your metabolism. Some people call it the golden hour. The 60 minutes after you finish a workout is the perfect time to refuel with a combination of protein and carbs. Gatorade just released a new product line called the G Series Fit It’s a system for fueling before, during and after your workouts called Prime, Perform and Recover. Each step is designed to help you maximize energy, keep you hydrated and promote muscle recovery. Or, you also can recover with a protein shake – the perfect combination of carbs that are healthy (fruits!) and the protein your body needs.
Workout Like A Trainer
If you want to increase your calories, work out like trainers do. Attend more than one workout class in a day, work out for more than one hour, or see if you can get more than the recommended 10,000 steps per day. Try for 15,000 or more. Get a combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training. Eventually you will increase the number of calories you burn while you are at rest too.
Get Out Of It What You Put In
Don’t coast through your workouts. Coasting means you aren’t sweating, your brain isn’t focused on what your body is doing, and you aren’t putting everything you have into your workouts. If you have a choice in a class to do a move high intensity, take it! Remind yourself during exercise that this is your opportunity to really burn the calories and push yourself. Don’t be on the elliptical flipping through a magazine and barely getting warm. If you want to burn calories you need to increase your exertion… that means get mentally focused and increase your heart rate. Music can help!
So follow these tips to boost your calorie burn, just in time for summer.