We all know interval training is the best way to burn some serious calories. But if we are being honest, we have to admit that we don't always feel like doing our sprints. Here are 7 ways you can boost your metabolism and burn calories without having to do intervals.
1. Make it a combo
Combining cardio and weights leads to burning more calories. Use hand weights or a weighted vest while walking on the treadmill. A weighted vest can promote all over body toning. Trainer Craig Ramsay says, "when we hold onto dumbbells while walking, our forearms can only grip for so long. These small muscles fatigue much quicker than the larger upper body muscles you're trying to focus on. A weighted vest will provide added resistance to the upper body, helping you achieve an effective resistance training for both the lower body, lower back, and core."
2. Do a super set
Keeping your muscles guessing burns more calories. A super set—two exercises performed back-to-back to create one set—provides a metabolic boost. "A super set surprises, challenges, and fatigues your muscles, leading to optimal fat burning potential," says fitness trainer Maria Kang, author of The No More Excuses Diet
. Using a challenging dumb bell weight, try a standing bicep curl for 10-12 repetitions, then immediately perform a dumbbell overhead triceps extension for 10-12 reps. Perform 3 sets.
3. Minimize your rest time
"Rest time is important for recovery, but resting 2-3 minutes between sets can sometimes lower your chance of burning more calories," says celebrity fitness trainer Donovan Green, author of No Excuses Fitness
. Trim your rest time to no more than 60 seconds.
4. Eat breakfast before a morning work out
There is some controversy about this but from a metabolism stand point, eating breakfast is important. You've not eaten in 6-8 hours and your metabolism has slowed down. To get it humming again, you need to give it fuel. Even a banana or some toast and peanut butter is better than skipping breakfast all together.
5. Don't cut calories
The simple math of weightloss is calories in, calories out. Celebrity trainer, Autumn Calabrese, creator of the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme programs, explains that "Eating too little actually has the opposite effect on your body. You go into starvation survival mode and instead of burning the fat, your body protects it."
6. Increase the incline
Sounds really simple but increasing the incline on the treadmill challenges your cardiovascular system and helps you burn more calories. It also makes your muscles work harder which means, yes, you guessed it, more calorie burn.
7. Embrace the cold
It has been a long winter and I know many of us are itching to get out into the spring but a recent study published in Diabetes
found that when participants slept in a mildly cold room (66°F) their levels and activity of brown fat—the type of fat that boosts your metabolism and ignites calorie burn—increased by 30 to 40%. So, don't wait for the summer to start, get out there now in that still slightly cool air and let it help you boost your metabolism!
Anything on this list you can add to your workout? Let us know in a comment.