We're all time-pressed these days. So you want to get the most out of your workout. It would also be nice to keep the calories burning for hours after walking on the treadmill, right?
So what can you do to achieve this?
Here are 4 key ways to supercharge your calorie burn both during and after your workout. Use these strategies and you may notice results in as little as a week!
#1 Split Up Your Workout Times
Instead of walking 1 hour, try splitting up your treadmill workouts into 2 half hour segments. Do one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening.
The reason this works is that your metabolism gets a boost for several hours after exercising. By splitting the time up you're getting a double boost during the day. And you'll probably find it a lot more enjoyable - 30 minutes seems a lot shorter than doing a whole hour at once.
#2 Reduce Your Speed And Crank Up That Incline
Did you know that incline, not speed, can actually have the largest effect on how many calories you burn?
For example, according to my treadmill, if I walk at 3.0 MPH and 0 incline I'm burning about 289 calories an hour. If I reduce my speed to 2.0 MPH (which feels luxuriously slow) but increase my incline to 15%, I'm burning about 500 calories an hour - almost double the calories.
Granted this is a high incline so you may not want to do it for 30 minutes stragith. But even building in several high incline intervals will chew up the calories in no time flat. And it's fun to see the calories numbers going up that fast on the console. It can actually inspire you to do even more incline intervals.
#3 Forget You're Exercising By Building Some Fun Distractions Into Your Workout
Did you know that boredom is the #1 reason people avoid exercising? Boredom can make exercise seem tedious. Chances are you'll cut your workout short when you start thinking about all the interesting things you could be doing instead.
So be strategic about your treadmill workouts - make them fun and productive. There are several ways to do this.
Load up your iPod with your favorite tunes. Or place your treadmill in front of your TV to watch your favorite nighttime drama. I have wireless internet in my home and often check my email or go online with my iTouch while walking.
I've spent entire workouts watching Youtube videos on my iTouch. And I often exercise longer than I'd planned to because I get caught up watching youtube. (It makes a guilty pleasure like watching youtube videos totally justifiable.)
Think of something you'd enjoy doing and do it while walking on the treadmill. You'll probably end up exercising longer than usual and burn even more calories.
#4 Change it Up - Every Minute
One of the best ways to keep your metabolism stoked is to continually challenge your body. If it never knows what's going to happen, it can't hit an exercise plateau.
To do this, try changing something every minute. Speed up one minute and slow the next. Then go even faster, then medium, then faster, then slow, etc. Walk at 2% incline for one minutes, then 4% the next, then 10%, then 1% - you get the idea.
Your body will not know what to expect which means it's always being challenged and your calories burned, especially post workout, will be much higher than if you just do your same-old same-old routine.
So those are 4 key ways to supercharge your treadmill calories burned. Try any or all of these 4 strategies and get ready to cinch in that belt.
Just deciding to get fit or trying to maintain a regular exercise or workout schedule can be enough of a daunting task. There are so many programs available now, from yoga to strength training, and everything possible in between, and all can be done either at home or in a gym. Choosing a gym and a fitness program will depend on a few important factors.
Consider your fitness level and be realistic. Things like body composition and flexibility levels need to be taken into consideration. A doctor should be consulted before you begin any exercise program, especially if you have not been physically active for a given amount of time. Once you have determined the level of fitness that you are comfortably able achieve, then set one or even a few key goals. Perhaps one goal would be to tone up or lose those last 10 to 15 pounds, or maybe you want to take part in a benefit walk with friends or co-workers. Whatever the goals may be, they will help you stay focused and motivated.
You should think about the kind of physical activities you really enjoy. If you simply pick things that you think are easy, or like because they are trendy, you may soon find yourself finding excuses as to why you don't want to go to the gym after all. For example if you like to dance, then look for an exercise class that offers aerobics which includes dance moves. If you are a social person then go shopping for a health club or a gym membership as opposed to exercising alone at home. Also, don't join a club that has more to offer than you will realistically use or do. For example, if you have no love of a steam bath, then why join a gym that offers sauna privileges?
Whether you choose to exercise at home or at a gym, be sure to maintain variety in your routine. This will help to prevent overuse or injury to a specific joint or group of muscles. It will also help to prevent boredom resulting from a repetitive exercise routine.
If it looks like a gym or health club is the way you want to go, then you should consider the location. Depending on what time of day you plan to exercise and where it will fit into you daily/weekly schedule, you may want to have your gym be handy to home, or on your route to work. Also be sure to visit the gym you are considering at the time of day you plan to be there to do your workout. If you dislike crowds or prefer a large group to workout with, this will give you a heads up as to how busy the place is going to be when you plan on being there. When you visit, check the locker rooms to see if the showers are fresh and clean and look well maintained, or do they look like something from a horror movie?
You should also consider your financial status. Sometimes home gym equipment can be pricey as can memberships in health clubs. Don't join a gym to benefit your health then spend each day stressing out about how to come up with next month's fees. Instead, if the dues are just too expensive, check your local city or municipality recreation department. Many times they will have regular exercise programs offered at a much more affordable rate, and with just as good of a variety of programs as your local gym.
Once you are involved in a regular exercise routine, don't forget that when you have achieved the goals you set for yourself, set new ones based on your new fitness level. This way you will always feel motivated and continue to grow physically and emotionally.
Running logs are great to have! And, they don't have to be fancy. You can just use a plain old notebook if you want. The important thing is to get the information down.
Here are my top 5 reasons to keep a running log:
1. Keeps you motivated. A running journal can keep you focused on your goals. You can look back over your week and see the miles you've accomplished. It can get you excited for the next week and the next...
2. Future injury prevention. If you incur an injury - you can look back over your log and see where the problem may be. It could be running too many miles too soon, too many hard runs in a week, too many miles in a pair of shoes, etc. Knowing this information is important and can keep you from making the same mistakes again.
3. Confidence. Your running journal can give you the confidence and the positive attitude that you need to accomplish your running goal. If you are planning a big race, the week before can really mess with your mind. You can look back over your log and see the miles that you've put in and "know" that you can do it!
4. Planning future training. If you've trained successfully for a race - you ran a great time, felt good the whole race, finished strong, don't you want to know how you did it? Your journal can show you how you prepared and then you can use that as a guideline to plan for your next race.
5. Personal running history. This is my personal favorite! I've kept a running journal for every year that I've been running. I love to go back and read through them. What was going on at that time, who I ran with, what I may have seen on the road, etc. It's a great diary!
So, whether you're a super serious runner and racer - or you strictly run for the fun of it, a running log is important to have.
Now, let's see what you should include in your journal. Here are my top 7 things that I feel should be included:
1. The route you ran and the distance covered. I'll include things like the terrain, if there was a lot of traffic that day, etc. Also, if it was a treadmill day.
2. Time it took to cover distance. I'm not too hung up on time, but I do like to keep track of it. The time is important if you are training to break a certain time for a race.
3. Weather conditions. I'll record temperature when I started and when I finished. Also, if it was rainy, humid, foggy, windy, etc. Anything that may have affected the run, including the time of day (morning, afternoon, night).
4. What type of run it was. Was it an easy day, long run day, speed work, etc.
5. How you feel after the run.
6. What shoes worn during run. I like to do this so that I keep track of how many miles I have on a pair of shoes.
7. Anything that may have happened during the run. Sometimes this is my favorite part. Finding money along the road, people I may have run with, animals I may have seen - just anything that notable. It's so much fun to go back and read old running journals!
Your running journal is your personal diary. There's no set rules on what you put in there. Make it your own. The important thing is to have one!