5 Exercise Add-Ons That Will Easily Up Your Calorie Burn
We don't usually take the easy road but when it comes to fitness, sometimes it's nice to dodge an incline and take a downhill instead. (We'll swap burpees for an extended plank any day).
You've heard the saying "no pain, no gain", but we're here to tell you that's only half true. There are actually some surprisingly simple ways that you can increase the amount of calories you burn during a workout without having to ruin your chances of walking the next day in the process.
Scroll down to see our sneaky calorie-burning hacks.
S'Well Reusable Water Bottle in Gold ($56)
Who knew that popping your water bottle in the fridge before a workout could change your ability to push on? A study from the Journal of International Science and Sports Nutrition found that due to the cooling effect of chilled water on the body's core temperature (which causes the body temperature to rise at a slower rate), participants who drank cold water as opposed to room temperate water had a more delayed exhaustion rate while cycling as a result. You know that really awful hot feeling you get when you're pushed yourself to hard? Try drinking cold water to keep it at bay a little longer.
No, not to Snap your running route. A study from West Brunel University in London found a number of benefits to your workout as a result of listening to music during your session. Voluntary endurance increased 15% when participants listened to music and perception of exertion is reduced by 12%. In short, listening to music rather than running in silence is more likely to make you believe you can go the (literal) extra mile, by distracting you out of thinking about how tired you are. Plus, you can easily track your route, speed and distance if you've got apps like Track My Run on your smartphone.
Love a treadmill session? The instant workout upgrade solution is adding a little hill into your wanderings. Research from A.T. Still University showed that an incline exceeding 15 percent equalled leg muscle activation reaching nearly 75 percent of maximal, compared to only 20 percent activation at a 0 percent incline. The harder those muscles work, the more calories you burn: it's simple science. You can also vary your time on an incline—try four minutes walking or running at 0 incline, then a final minute at 20%. (Repeat a few more times if you're feeling brave).
Reebok 0.5kg Soft Grip Hand Weight ($15)
It's not rocket science: the more you move, the more calories you burn. You might think it's a little Kath Day-Knight to get those arms pumping but it's actually your best chance of increasing your pace—and an increased pace obviously means more calories burnt. Also, just the motion of swinging your bent arms from your waist all the way to your chest burns up to 15% more calories alone. You can also ddd some light hand weights to make those arms work a little harder.
This is by far the easiest (and funnest) way to up your calorie burning capacity. It turns out that working out with a pal can significantly increase the length of your workout. One study at Michigan State University found that female participants almost doubled their their exercise duration. When you've got a buddy, you've got no excuses—plus, you've got a great way to distract yourself into pushing that little bit harder. Time to partner up.
Do you like to work out with friends? Tell us in the comments below!