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 intervalsWhen 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 exercise increased by 36 percent. 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 conquerWho says you don't have the time to work out? 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!
3. Find your inner peaceStress 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 sportyChallenge your body by trying a 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 heavyOnce 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 offRemember 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.