There are many ways to intensify your workout. Adding an element that you don’t usually add can bring up the calorie expenditure. Here are three of my favorites:
1) Add an empowering affirmation when you’re doing your cardio workout. I love this technique because it engages you on a physical, mental, and emotional level. The biggest challenge we have when training is to stay engaged at a level that will increase our strength and endurance.
Next time you’re working out, pick some music that has an uplifting beat and repeat one of these affirmations (listed below) in rhythm to the music. You will notice your heart rate go up. But, if it’s easy for you to speak out loud then you need to workout harder. If it’s challenging for you to speak out loud, but you can, it is a good indicator that you are in your fat burning zone. If your mind is allowed to wander there is no way you can get optimum results. But when you have a powerful thought it inspires great action, and great action leads to great results. Choose affirmations like:
I am strong now.
I can do this.
I am getting leaner and leaner.
I can handle this.
I am better now.
I feel great now.
2) Do speed, or interval, training. If you are on a treadmill, bike, swimming, or running do intervals of speed training where you hold yourself in a “sprint like zone” for 45 seconds to one minute. You have to get out of your comfort zone for this to work. Increase your speed to the point where it is challenging and you cannot hold it for more than a minute. The demand you put on your body increases your calorie out put and raises your heart rate. Slow down until you have recovered but stay there just long enough to catch your breath and speed it up again. This kind of training stretches you to new limits while increasing how many calories you are burning per workout. It is easy to stay comfortable and take it easy when you are doing cardio for an extended period of time. Intensity is the key. The amount of fat you lose is in proportion to the intensity you put forth.
3) Vary your workout by changing the way you do it. Each time you perform an activity your body gets efficient at that activity and it remembers the movement and gets better at doing it. This in turn allows the body to go on auto pilot which decreases the calories burned. Mix it up and do it differently. If you are running on a treadmill vary the terrain by increasing and decreasing the incline. On a bike vary the terrain as well. If you are outdoors pick a different bike path and if you are indoors on a stationary bike try doing the opposite of what you normally do. If you love to go fast, slow it down and add some resistance. If you love to go slow, increase the speed and lower the resistance. Trick your body into burning more calories. By combining intensity and unique movements you will not only burn more calories during your workout but for hours afterwards as well.