Fitness Articles

10 Smart Ways to Burn More Calories

Crank Up Your Cardio to Blast More Fat!


3. Use your whole body. Most cardio exercises focus on the lower body (biking, walking, elliptical, stair climbing, etc.), but if you want to burn more calories, one easy tip is to incorporate your upper body. Pump those arms hard and high when running and walking, make sure to grab the elliptical with moving handles, and even consider adding a more full-body exercise to your cardio mix such as the rowing machine. The more muscles you move, the more calories you will burn!

4. Get intense. If you're serious about wanting to burn more calories, then it's time to up the intensity. Bump up your incline and resistance if you're on a piece of gym equipment, or walk a hillier route than usual if you exercise outdoors. To increase the burn, you need to get out of your cardio comfort zone. And when you do, the benefits can be big. In a study published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports Medicine in 2002, researchers found that intense exercise resulted in the greatest fat burn (compared to light intensity exercise and no exercise at all) during the hours following a workout—and that fat burn continued for 11 hours.

5. Listen to fast music. If you seem to have trouble pumping yourself up for a workout, try popping in those earbuds! In a small study by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, scientists found that when male college students pedaled stationary bicycles while listening to fast popular music, the subjects pedaled faster and elevated their heart rates more. The students even perceived their workouts to be less intense than they actually were. And when the music slowed down? The opposite happened. So listen to music you love and get your cardio on!

6. Use proper form. Do you hold on to the handles when you run on the treadmill? Maybe you lean on the handlebars during spinning class or hunch over while walking on the Stairmaster. If you use these machines, you need to use proper form in order to burn more calories. As a general rule, keep your arms moving freely and naturally, keep your abs in, your weight centered over your hips, and your shoulders down and back. Not only does proper form keep you from getting injured, it also ups your calorie burn since your core is engaged. Bonus!

7. Speed up. The simplest advice of all for upping your calorie burn? Increase your pace even if it's just a little bit. The tortoise may have won the race, but the hare burned more calories!
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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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