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How to Burn More Calories: 13 Tips

The hardest part of exercise is getting motivated, right? When you're already moving, might as well make the most of it! Here are tips straight from the experts on how to burn more calories while exercising. Now you can shed those pounds even faster.

How to Burn More Calories While Walking and Jogging

  1. Add weight. "A client of mine lost a lot of weight by walking with a backpack on," says Jim Willett, a personal trainer in Canada. As the client lost weight, Willet had him add more pounds to the backpack. "Even though he got lighter, his workload didn't."
  2. Find resistance. "Walking on sand or in the snow makes your body work harder to propel you," says Willet, who's also vice president of fitness operations with FABS CyberFitness, a company that provides online exercise videos.
  3. Use walking sticks. This boosts the amount of energy your upper body uses, say personal trainer Andrea Metcalf, owner of mbc Fitness in Chicago.
  4. newsletter-graphicPush a jogging stroller. Don't have kids? How about a small dog? If it's slowing you down, "pop him in a stroller or wagon," suggests Metcalf, who's also creator and host of Fit Today TV.
  5. Turn your neighborhood into a gym. When walking or jogging outside, "stop and do a set of dips off of a park bench or tree stump, or push-ups off of a railing," Willet suggests. Do this periodically. "This is a great way to boost metabolism. It may increase your heartbeat and also help build muscle, which burns more calories in the long run."
  6. Do interval training. This means periodically increasing intensity. "For example, change the incline and speed intervals when on a treadmill," Metcalf says. Higher intensity burns more calories, and resting in between allows you to hit those higher levels. "I suggest aiming for a two-to-one ratio: two minutes of lower intensity to one minute of higher intensity."

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dogYou can also burn more calories when doing resistance training, such as crunches. Do what's called active recovery, Willet says. Keep your heartrate up between sets by doing something like walking up and down the stairs for 60 seconds or jumping rope.

Or, at the gym, circuit train, suggests Fitcorp, a gym company in the Boston area. This means moving from one type of exercise to another, around and around, so that you're not sitting around between sets. A personal trainer can help you create a routine like this. It helps keep your heart rate up.

Perhaps most impactful in the long run is having passion. "The best exercise is the one you like to do," Metcalf says. "If you're enjoying the activity, it will go by much faster and you'll probably do it more often and for longer periods."

Check with your health-care provider before changing your routine, and don't overdo it and hurt yourself!

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Last updated and/or approved: July 2011.
Original article appeared in May/June 2008 former print magazine. Bios current as of that issue. This general health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
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