You work to stay in shape, but being indoors and eating through the holidays can make it tougher to be fit. Try these simple ways to burn extra calories and fat this season.
Use a Fitness Tracker
Owning a fitness tracker, or even a simple pedometer or cell phone app, allows you to determine the distance you cover, and count the steps you take. Some will give you info on the calories you’re burning, too. Wearing a fitness tracker and knowing this kind of information gives you constant advice on how to move and burn a bit more each day.
Get a Small Water Bottle
We love the simple tricks, like using a smaller dinner plate or replacing pasta noodles with vegetables. Here’s one—shrink your water bottle! If you’re good about getting up and going to refill your water bottle a couple of times per day at work, your good habit translates into more steps every day, if you have to fill it more often!
Less Reps, Heavier Load
First part of this trick is to remember that the more you weigh, the more calories you burn exercising and in everyday life. While you might not want to gain body fat, you can “gain weight” by increasing the size of your muscles. A simple approach is to tweak your strength exercise sessions to do fewer reps but increase the load (the weight you lift).
If you normally do 12 – 15 repetitions of an exercise, increase the weight until you can do 3 sets of 4 or 5 reps. You should near the point of failure (it’s too hard and you feel the burn) by the third set. You’ll grow muscle mass and burn more all season long.
Mix Your Cardio Intensities
Instead of trying to manage and understand your various fat burning zones and which intensities are just right or too much, why not go for a little of each? A long distance runner can benefit from including a session focused on sprints. A HIIT enthusiast can benefit from a long power walk on hilly ground. One day of low, one day of mixed and one day of high intensity cardio can keep your body guessing and help it burn more fat.
Head Outside in the Cool Air
Cold weather itself does not increase your calorie needs. Unless your body temperature drops and you start to shiver, you aren’t really burning more calories in cold weather. However, your body does use a considerable amount of energy to warm and humidify the air you breathe when you exercise in the cold.
In fact, up to one quarter of calories burned in outdoor exercise when it’s cold (skiing or running when it’s 0 degrees for example) is used to warm the air you’re breathing and moving through. So dress right, then head outside and brave the cold air once in a while.
Wear the Right Clothes
This tip tells you to dress for success—and that doesn’t mean wear your best suit to the grocery store. Instead, dress comfortably for both work and play. Wear good shoes that fit well so you are apt to get up and move around the office more. Choose form fitting clothes to help you remember your posture and “suck it in” as you’re standing in line.
Easy habits like having your active wear ready for after work, can make a big difference in your everyday movements and as a result, your weekly calorie burn.