Unless you love exercising all the time, fat burning throughout the day can be difficult. Burning fat becomes a bigger obstacle when you have limited time to exercise–a common challenge for most women navigating packed schedules every day. The good news is that this challenge is not impossible to overcome. It’s just all the more reason for finding efficient ways to get the most bang for your fitness buck. Here’s how to do it:
Eat Strategically: It can seem counter-intuitive to eat before or after a workout, especially since the goal of exercise for many is to undo the calories taken in. However, when you have a little food digested in your system before exercising, your muscles are fueled with glycogen so that they can work to their fullest potential.
When the workout’s all done, it’s time to eat again. Exercise breaks down the muscles, which burns fat and calories, but it’s when your body goes into repair mode that the real workout begins. Energy is needed to rebuild muscles, and your body will look for sources anywhere it can find it. By eating a light snack made of a protein-carb mix, you can replenish the glycogen stores in your muscles without your body turning to muscle to get it’s energy. The extra calories taken in will also help you to feel less fatigued after working out, allowing you to keep moving throughout the day. And more movement means more fat burning.
Start Strong: When working out, stretching is key. But instead of just bending to touch your toes and holding it, go for active stretches instead. Movements such as high-knee runs or yoga sun salutations require you to use more energy than stationary stretches, which burn more fat. Active stretches are also a great way to warm up your body properly so that your body is well prepared when the real workout begins.
Switch It Up:
Your body requires you to provide challenging exercises. If it’s too easy, your fat and calorie situation is going to stay pretty much the same. Instead of doing 60 minutes of cardio on a consistent surface and pace, intervals will help you to feel the same burn in about half the time. Stick to your hour time allotment, and you’ll double your fat-burning abilities.
Not sure how intervals work? Here’s an example: If you’re out for a walk, choose a path where there are hills and stairs so that it’s not all flat ground. And don’t forget to change your pace. Add in periods of quick walking, pumping your arms along the way, as well as some light jogging.
A good leg workout can be done with cardio, such as biking, running, swimming, or hiking. However, strength training with heavier weights is often a more efficient fat burning process. The more muscle you have, the better your metabolism will be. And lifting big can get you there, while at the same time expending more energy in the body. Aim for
lifting a large percentage of the maximum weight you can handle on an exercise, but with fewer reps. For example, if your personal best for squatting is 100lbs, do three sets of six to eight reps at 80 pounds. If the weight is too little or too much, adjust during each set.
Approach fitness with efficiency in mind, and your fat burning abilities are sure to increase. After all, what’s the point of exercising if you aren’t going to see any of the benefits?
What exercise time-savers do you rely on? Share with others in the comments!