For those of us who have to remain conscious of our diet and lifestyle in order to maintain or lose weight, every little bit helps.
From standing instead of sitting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and mixing food by hand rather than using an electric appliance, there are ways we can make simple changes to burn a little more fat .
Put a few of these together, and it can make a noticeable difference. And the same can be said about exercising.
1. Monitor Your Heart Rate.
A simple way to figure out your maximum heart rate (MHR) is by subtracting your age from 220. To get the most from exercise—both NEAT and cardio work-outs—make sure you get to seventy-five percent of your MHR at least three days a week. You can buy a monitor that you strap on or simply take your pulse. Keeping track of your activity in a very physical way can keep you focused, making sure you get the exercise you want without going overboard.
2. Drill it.
Sports drills aren’t just for team sports—they can be fun if you don’t have to do them! Pick ones that you like. Set up markers and challenge yourself at your own pace. Monitor your improvement—nothing is as motivating and encouraging as seeing progress. You can increase your agility, endurance, speed, balance, and energy.
3. Pick up Speed.
Do your exercise faster. By exerting more power in the activities that you do, you burn more calories and involve more muscles. For example, if you walk to the store at lunch, sprinkle intermittent walking sprints. When you climb the stairs, run up one flight. If you do squats, stand faster. Take it slowly and don’t add a lot of weight all at once but ease into speeding up things you already do.
4. Engage in Interval Training.
EPOC is an acronym for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption; what it means is that your body continues to burn fuel after you’ve stopped a rigorous exercise. When you turn off a burner on your electric stove, it stays hot for a while and takes time to cool down. The same is true for us. Maximizing EPOC will get you more out of what you’re already doing. Alternate between doing something fast and then at the normal rate, like running and walking. The slower activity allows the body to recover from the more intense periods, which are then more effective. The greater-intensity intervals increase EPOC .
5. Track Your Walking.
Get a little pedometer and keep track of how much you walk. A rule of thumb to follow is a minimum 6,000 steps per day , which is the equivalent of three miles. It sounds like a lot but if you add up walking to the printer and around the kitchen preparing dinner, you walk more than you think you do. By being mindful of how much you are doing, you can track your activity and progress, painlessly stepping it up if you need to.
6. Heat up your warm-up.
A dynamic warm-up is more effective and less likely to result in injury than a static one. In addition, you put emphasis on the muscles you are about to engage to stretch, strengthen, and tone gradually . You’ll also burn more calories and ready your whole system for more vigorous exertion. It’s better to stretch when your muscles are warm; stretching cold muscles can cause damage. Whatever exercise you do, keep doing it. Do more, faster, stronger, longer and you’ll find getting and keeping in shape a little easier.