Do you have a hectic everyday schedule and you cannot afford to spend hours at the gym or on your treadmill at home? Fret not. It is very much possible for you to burn more calories in half the time. Whether you have 15 or 45 minutes to spare, here are some smart tips on amping up your cardio and ultimately the results:
Stretch Those Muscles
Before you work out, spend at least a couple of minutes stretching your muscles. This helps warm up your muscles and make them more flexible, thus keeping at bay injuries. Especially when you’re always on a time crunch, pulling your muscles is not an option. With those muscles of yours primed for exercising, doing your cardio should be safer and more efficient, letting you maximize the number of calories burned in a short period of time.
Drink Cold Water
Those who like to speed up their metabolism are advised to consume cold water because the body’s attempt to bring back its temperature within the normal range after a glass of ice-cold water is introduced into it uses up a lot of calories. The same benefit can be enjoyed while you are working out. In fact, a British study found that participating fitness buffs who drank cold water while working out had more energy and zapped more calories.
Increase the Incline
For many busy individuals, the treadmill is usually the go-to machine each time they want to get their dose of exercise. If you have no choice but to spend a few minutes on a treadmill, be it at home or at your favorite gym, it’s a great idea to have the incline cranked up. Experts say this can make you burn up to 60% more calories! Make sure that you maintain an upright position throughout the routine to get the most out of using the treadmill.
Listen to Upbeat Music
Flooding your ears with your favorite tunes is a great way to keep boredom at bay while you’re exercising. Listening to fast songs, according to a study by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, encouraged participating males on stationary bikes to pedal much faster while listening to upbeat songs. Also, they felt that their workouts were less intense than they really were, thus it allowed them to push the limits and burn a lot more calories.
Move More Muscles
A lot of cardio exercises focus more on muscles in the lower extremities. If you want to get rid of more excess calories sans spending lots of time working out, get the muscles in your upper extremities involved, too. For example, really swing your arms while brisk walking. Opt for cardiovascular exercises that involve the entire body such as dancing, swimming or jumping rope to burn lots of calories in just a short period of time.
Throw in Some Weight
Challenging your muscles allows you to get rid of more calories than usual. If brisk walking is your choice of exercise, place something heavy in a backpack, such as an empty milk jug filled with water. Put your backpack on and start walking, but make sure that it’s not too heavy as to hurt your back. You may also invest in and wear sandbags for the ankles and wrist so that you may burn as many calories as you can even on a time crunch.
Keep Things Speedy
One of the simplest ways for you to zap more calories in half the time is increasing the pace. Even if you had to limit your workout to 15 to 20 minutes only, speeding things up can make it seem as though you just exercised for an entire hour. Some people, however, benefit a lot from varying their workout intensities through varying intervals. Going this route is perfect for you if you find yourself already bored with doing cardio after just a couple of minutes.