Even if you think you’re making the best of your gym sessions, there are some things you could be doing to see results more quickly. Here are 10 tips to maximize calorie burn in the gym.
1. Increase the Treadmill Incline
By increasing the incline on the treadmill, you’ll burn off a few more extra calories than you would while running or walking on a flat plane—even if the incline is set to a low percentage. Plus, raising the incline will strengthen and tone your thigh and butt muscles.
2. Use the Elliptical Handles Properly
When you’re on the elliptical, be sure to regularly push and pull on the handles to achieve a full-body workout. Many gym-goers like to do it hands-free, but that’s a mistake. Just remember not to rely on the handles for support, so you can burn more calories and exercise the upper body.
Another great way to burn extra calories is to use your arms when doing leg exercises. Simply pumping your arms while running on the treadmill can make the process of toning the legs and arms much easier, and eliminate the need to do many more specialized arm-toning sessions. Also, using your arms while running is known to make athletes run faster by keeping the body balanced and providing more power.
4. Avoid Working Out on an Empty Stomach
Exercising on an empty stomach can not only negatively affect your health, but it can also lower your performance levels. It’s important to fuel the body with enough nutrients so you don’t become tired or dizzy. When you eat before you work out, you’ll have enough energy to support the rigorous activity you’re about to put your body through.
5. Don’t Skip a Stretch
Stretching is essential part of exercise that lowers the risk of injury. By making the muscles flexible, stretching prepares them for exercise and helps them relax afterward. An easy way to rob yourself of those extra burned calories is to skip your stretch.
6. Know Your Limits
Always be aware of your body’s limits and know when you’re pushing it too far. If an exercise is too challenging, modify it until it becomes something you can do. The key is to not drain the body out so quickly by attempting hard, fast-paced, exercises but to sustain your energy level and work your way up to more difficult exercises, burning more calories in the process.
7. Switch It Up!
Switching up your exercise routine will continually challenge your body causing it to burn even more calories. Repetition can get boring, which can deflate anyone’s enthusiasm and make them want to quit. It also allows your body to quickly adapt and get too comfortable at a particular fitness level; comfort prevents results. Get creative with your routine on a regular basis, and you’ll start to see the difference in your body.
8. Listen to Fast-paced Music
If you’re lacking the motivation to work out, try listening to music. When you exercise to your favorite, fast-paced and energetic songs, you’ll probably find that your workouts don’t feel as intense as they actually are. Music can help you to work out even longer too, since you’ll probably focus less on the effort you’re making and more on the songs you’re listening to.
9. Exercise With a Friend
Working out with a motivated partner can encourage you to stay on track and even give you some healthy competition. Friends can make time go by quickly and make exercising feel more fun. Plus, when you have plans to work out with a friend, you’re less likely to make excuse and skip the session when you’re tempted to flake.
10. Exercise Large Muscles
To burn serious calories, engage in exercises that work out the larger muscle groups such as your thighs, butt and chest. The more you exercise these muscles, the greater the calorie burn.
Now, next time you head to the gym, use these tips to maximize your calorie burn in your workouts!