If you have the winter workout blahs or have hit a weight loss plateau, there are some easy, effortless ways to boost your fat loss and calorie burn WITHOUT spending more time in the gym.
1) Add in some plyometics:
Plyometrics is a fun, easy way to get your heart pumping. These moves (jumping, skipping, leaping) bring out the kid in us, boost happy brain chemicals, and can double your calorie burn in a single workout. Aside from the direct increase in calorie-burn from added intensity, they foster use of different muscle fibers and “shock” the body into using more energy to create stronger muscles overall. This can allow you to exercise at a greater intensity and for longer periods of time much quicker. Caution to those with knee problems — utilize plyometrics only underthe supervision of a trained professional.
During your daily walk, add 30 high-knee marching movements every 15 minutes. If running, skip for 30 seconds each mile or two.
Turn and move into a side squat slowly – 5-10 on each side – followed by 10 squat jumps (slight squat down, then use your arms to propel you as you jump forward) mid-workout.
Repeat as desired for even greater results.
2.) Add hills on your route: “HillsÂ give youÂ strength”, my running coach used to say. He is absolutely right! Driving your body uphill against gravity is a great way to boost your calorie-burn and sculpt your rear. It can be an easy way to add speed to your overall pace by building greater strength and resiliency and power to your legs. Add hills to 10-20% of your workout outsideÂ or bump the treadmill incline up 2% for 5-10 minutes of your workout. Continue to up the incline 1% per week to keep your body guessing.
3.) Add in some intervals: Interval training is simply doing short bursts of higher intensity in your workout. Fartleks are a great way to do this if you are a runner (race you to the stop sign!) ; if you walk as your primary form of cardiovascular exercise, you can toss ten 1-minute speed-walking sessions into a 30 minute brisk walk to double your calorie burn. This is also a fantastic way to break into jogging or running from walking. Jeff Galloway revolutionized injury-free running by making this method of walk-runningÂ popular.
These are just three, easy and funw ays to add variety and results to your existing fitness routine. If you have any existing or chronic injury, you will want to speak with a knowledgable fitness professional about the best way to boost your workouts for maximum results. As with any new endeavor, add the change in slowly (for one or two workouts a week) building up slowly to allow the body to adapt and prevent injuries.
Have any readers benefited from these methods? I know hill training was key to my Boston marathon qualifying time last May. How have some of these methods benefited you?