Whether you’ve been working out like a machine but have a layer of fat hiding your hard work, or you’re new to exercise and just want to say “so long” to the flab, fitness can be all you need to reach your next goal. That’s not to say that a smart meal plan filled with lean protein, good fats, and veggie and fruit-based carbs aren’t a necessary part of the equation. However, when you pair of that healthy eating with efficient fitness that’s focused on fat-shedding, the losses you gain could be even better. Here’s how to make it happen.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: If you’re a fitness newbie, your comfort zone might be sitting in front of the TV on your couch. However, for many, the comfort zone is the exercise level that is below the true intensity that makes your workout worthwhile. For example, if you’re a runner, jogging at a slow pace isn’t going to feel more challenging than a walk in the park. While being active is better than lazing your days away, to really burn fat you need to up the ante. That may mean picking up the pace during your cardio, adding on a heavier plate when strength training, going for an arm balance in yoga, or taking an instructor-led class instead of staying solo.
Mix Things Up: Do the same workout routine (even at a higher intensity, at times) and your body will catch on. To burn fat effectively, you need to be a bit sneakier and throw your body a curve ball. If you’re a swimmer, switch up your stroke style between laps. If you love to lift, go for full-body exercises at high reps and low weights one day, and then switch it up to muscle-specific exercises with low reps and heavier weights on another day. When doing yoga, switch up the styles between power flow and bikram. Headed to class? Look for one that incorporates high-intensity interval training.
Lose Control: It can feel hard to do both of the above if you’re the one calling the shots on your workout plan. That’s because an exercise routine can become just that…routine. It’s like a well-worn path that you stay on both because it’s been effective in the past, and it helps you to get in and out of your spandex at a faster pace. To try something completely new can feel like reinventing the wheel–and who has time for that? Instead of being the mastermind of your fitness, hand over the reins to someone else. If you do cardio, pair up with a buddy or local group to set the course and the pace. For strength training, set yourself up with a fitness professional. In just a few sessions, you could learn new tricks while improving form. Instead of going to the same yoga instructor or group fitness class, switch up who leads the way or watch a video at home for a completely you-nique experience.
Applaud yourself for making fitness a regular part of your healthy lifestyle, but don’t forget that to make the most of the service that it’s there to provide. You can reach your fat burning goals if you just make a few easy tweaks.
How do you keep fitness feeling fresh? Tell others in the comments!