Fitness Articles

10 Smart Ways to Burn More Calories

Crank Up Your Cardio to Blast More Fat!

We all like to get more done in less time, right? We shop from our computers to forgo waiting in lines at department stores and microwave our foods to cut down on cooking time. Some of us even take multitasking to new levels by checking our email while watching television and sipping our morning coffee. And it makes sense. After all, what do we all want more of when it comes down to it? Time. Although spending time working out is a great way to beat stress and get healthy, most of us are usually trying to squeeze in workouts during our already hectic schedules. And when you are able to get to the gym or find that 30 minutes for cardio, don't you want to make the most of every minute?

No matter what type of cardio you do, you can burn more calories in the same amount of time with just a few modifications to your current workout.

10 Ways to Crank Up Your Cardio
1. Do cardio first. Over the years, many clients have asked me, "Should I do weights or cardio first?" If you want to up your calorie burn (and who doesn't?), research shows that you should do cardio first. Published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, one study examined how many calories exercisers burned doing one of four workout combinations: running only, strength training only, running followed by strength training, and strength training followed by running. Researchers found that while all exercisers experienced a strong "after burn" (a higher rate of calories burned when at rest after exercise) for the two hours after working out, the strength training and run/strength training groups had the highest exercise after burn of all. So what does this mean? Although it's just one study, the takeaway is that we might burn more calories after working out if we do our cardio first.

2. Try plyometrics. If you consider yourself an intermediate or advanced exerciser and are looking for ways to burn more calories, plyometrics are the way to go. These high-intensity, explosive exercises such as jumping and hopping, get your heart rate up quickly, which equals a higher rate of calories burned. Additionally, these athletic movements really target your fast-twitch muscles, coordination and agility, so you're training your body in an entirely new and challenging way. And challenging workouts almost always equal results—and more calories burned. Because using proper form is essential when doing these advanced high-impact moves, consider learning the ropes first!
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • I have a recumbent bike. I do this for 45 min 5 times a week. At the same time I use 2 lb weights while I am on the bike. I do this every 5 min. A total of 90 tmes. Is this Ok? Should I use heavier weights. I weigh 235 lbs and I do feel the burn in my upper body. - 1/19/2015 9:34:13 AM
    good tips. - 10/23/2014 9:11:01 AM
  • Enjoyed this article. I'll have to try some of these techniques. - 8/31/2014 2:48:20 PM
  • I think it's been long enough that the term "comfort zone" can be officially declared a cliché. Just sayin'.

    This article tells us how practical self defense training is among the best of all exercises. For example, one exercise I do is sprint as fast as I can from one part of a room to another, or up and down stairs or whatever, as though moving in on an aggressor, and do blocking and striking movements with my arms as I'm moving; I also start and stop, change direction, and so on. Because of the principle of specificity, this is all done full speed and full force to make the training practical. I get exhausted and have to quit in under a minute, rest a little, and do it again. Several sessions like that are a good workout.

    Fast walking mixed with bursts of sprinting are better exercise and self defense training than simply walking or jogging at an even pace. And varying the terrain also makes the exercise better training as well as better exercise. Up and down hills, staircases, deep sand, city streets, country trails, over and around playground equipment, and so on. Kids' games like tag involve that kind of running, and it's always good to have interaction with kids, and it might also make them better able to avoid a kidnapping attempt.

    I'd like to see some exercise experts come up with an article on workouts using playground devices that are commonly found in public parks.

    No reason to go to a gym for the kind of training this article talks about. Unless you just want to. All I go to a gym for is weights. - 5/27/2014 11:07:20 AM
  • TINK170
    Good Morning
    I'm a 71 male and know strength training is the best for after burn. My question, I was always told to alternate days, strength training one day then cardio the next day. Have I been wrong or are you talking to women in this article.
    Thanks Charles - 5/27/2014 6:26:11 AM
  • ANNE3091
    To burn calories it is important that how good is your metabolism. to increase your metabolism you can do some workout and eat some healthy food avoid junk food .Cabbage can work very well in the weight loss plan as it can not only work in loosing the weight but it is healthy. Eat a bowl of raw cabbage . - 5/1/2014 2:53:13 AM
    getting older still want to be able to do all things with the lord help, and be healthly - 4/3/2014 5:52:18 PM
  • When ever I do my stretches before my walk/jogging program I add a little something extra to the stretches. For example I am doing a calf stretch with my toe up the wall, and my opposing foot stretched back behind me. I them place my hands at sholder height on the wall and do wall pushups at the same time working at strengthening my arms and chest muscles while stretching out my leg muscles. When I lie on my back and pull one knee to my chest to stretch out my thigh muscle I do 30 side crunchies lifting my head and shoulder upward toward that knee. Turning my stretch into a stomach toning as well. - 3/23/2014 2:20:07 PM
  • A well balanced article. Explains importance of intensity, yet helps us to see what is too much. I liked the advice about form. I find myself leaning over shopping cart handles. Now I know that keeping form in a seemingly minor thing can make a difference. When I caught myself doing that, I would stand up straighter. But now I know it's not just a posture issue, it will increase calorie burn. On some of my shopping trips, with the long list I have, it could make a difference. - 1/31/2014 11:17:41 AM
    this is my first day. I want to keep going and do well. I don't like the tummy I have. wish me luck and good luck to all of you out there trying to reach a goal.
    - 1/17/2014 7:50:57 AM
  • Bravelute - there's a problem with your math. If you assume the hare could finish the race in a total of 60 seconds going 10 mph, then the race course was approximately .17 miles long. At 2 mph, you would walk that in approximately 5 minutes - your 190 calories per hour becomes only 16 calories in 5 minutes. Carrying the shell is a cute point though! :) - 1/9/2014 12:56:12 PM
  • Good suggestions. I also do strength first. I don't want to be to tired after cardio and not do strength training - 1/8/2014 10:59:02 AM
    Great tips. I'll be trying soon! - 9/19/2013 10:53:56 AM
  • Perhaps we should stop using the tortoise/hare analogy?? If I run their race at 10 mph for 30 seconds to the tree, lie down and nap all day until the last 30 seconds and run again for 30 more seconds, I burn 21 calories.

    If I walk at 2mph like the tortoise, I burn 190 calories an hour. And according to the story, the hare got to take quite a lengthy nap.

    AND look at all the strength training the tortoise added to his workout, carrying around his house.

    So the slow and steady not only won the race, but also got the better combined workout according to my calculations. - 7/30/2013 3:35:28 PM
  • I'm trying but need to work harder. Thanks for sharing. - 7/22/2013 7:40:06 AM

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