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Tweaking Not Twerking

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July 9, 2015

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Blog, Exercise

We are at the mid-point in the year and maybe you are looking to change things up with your exercise routine.  Follow these simple tweaks to help you break through any plateaus, jump start some weight loss and get your metabolism going so you continue to burn calories for a few hours after exercise.

  1. Swing those arms. If you are walking for exercise, pumping your arms as you walk can help you burn up to 15% more calories and will help you quicken your pace. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees and pump your arms as you stride.   Your thumbs should come close to touching your waistband as your elbow goes backward and up towards your chin on the upswing.  Make sure to keep elbows in and don’t let hands cross past the middle of your chest (in front of your sternum). Too much side-to-side motion drags down your pace.
  2. Use music. Studies have shown that working out to your favorite fitness playlist can help you to go up to 20% longer and burn more calories. Music blocks fatigue, reenergizes, and helps you keep pace by synchronizing your movements.
  3. Put on some weight. To rev your calorie burn, it is not about the number of reps, but the size of the weights (size does matter!). Even when exercisers lifted identical volumes (such as 10 pounds 10 times or 20 pounds 5 times), those using the heavier dumbbells burned about 25% more calories when they were finished. “Heavy weights create more protein breakdown in the muscle, so your body has to use more energy to repair and recover—that’s how lean muscle tissue is built,” says researcher Anthony Caterisano, PhD, of Furman University.  Bonus: working out with heavy weights even for as few as 3 to 6 reps increased exercisers’ sleeping metabolic rate—the number of calories burned overnight—by nearly 8%. That’s enough to lose about 5 pounds in a year, even if you did nothing else!  When lifting heavy, be sure to use good form to prevent injury (regardless, always use good form!).
  4. Fight thirst with cool water. Exercisers who drink refrigerated water (39°F) tend to work out about 25% longer than those who consume the same file0002019685404amount of warmer water, and exercise sessions felt easier. Sipping chilled water both before and during exercise may help keep your body temperature down and your energy up for maximum calorie burn.   If you’re tired of plain water, add some fruit slices like citrus (lemons, limes, oranges) or cucumber for a tasty drink.
  5. Circuit train. Instead of performing 2 or 3 sets of a single exercise before moving to the next one, do a circuit. String your exercises together and move from one to the other with minimal rest (30 seconds max) in between.  Do this 3 times.  Because circuit training elevates your heart rate, it tends to burn almost twice as many calories postworkout as the standard-style lifters.
  6. Get fresh air. Take advantage of no snow and ice and head outside for your workout. Research finds that exercisers burn 10% more calories when they walk or run outdoors than they do on a treadmill at the same speed because the treadmill is not helping to propel you – you have to do the work yourself.
  7. Crank up the incline. Whether walking indoors or out, try to include inclines in your walk. Not only is it a good way to tighten the butt but it can also rev up your calorie burn by up to 60%.   It will also help you when walking on flat surfaces.  To safely take your walks to the next level, follow these guidelines:
  • Don’t lean. Maintain an upright posture; keep your shoulders over your hips; your hips over your ankles.
  • Start easy. Do a 5-minute slow walk and then a 10-minute brisk pace before adding your first hill.
  • Go 5 and 5. Alternate 5-minute hills with 5 minutes of level walking. Repeat as often as you like. Cool down for 5 minutes.
  • Inch up. You may only be able to walk a 1% incline initially. The key is to maintain the same speed during the hills as you do with no incline. Aim for a 3.5 mph speed, and keep your hills moderate; a 5% incline is a great goal, and go no more than 7%. (Steeper inclines put too much strain on your back, hips, and ankles.)
  1. Do at least 12 minutes of cardio. Not contacting a warm-up, you need at least 12 minutes of continuously moderate to high-intensity activity (where you’re breathing somewhat hard) most days a week. That’s the amount necessary to improve your body’s ability to use oxygen and become more efficient at fat-burning during exercise and other activities.
  2. Cut your workouts in half. Introducing short bouts of vigorous activity can speed up weight loss and cut your workout time by up to half or more. Australian researchers found that women who alternated just 8 seconds of high-intensity exercise with 12 seconds of low-intensity activity for 20 minutes, 3 times a week, slimmed down faster than steady-paced exercisers who worked out twice as long. Those who did intervals lost up to 16 pounds, shrunk their bellies by 12% and their thighs by 15%, and gained, on average, 1½ pounds of metabolism-revving muscle in 4 months—without dieting!
  3. Don’t skip stretching. Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, helping to prepare them for exercise and recover from the effort afterward. Stretching also allows you to get the maximum benefits from cardio and resistance training as you can move the muscles more freely.

Source: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/ways-burn-more-calories-every-workout

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