Stubborn fat is like the uninvited guest that never leaves. It sticks around for too long, hangs around where it shouldn’t, and doesn’t go away even if you tell it to. Luckily, you can fix your relationship with stubborn fat with a few classic exercises. All you have to do is add in some variety to your workouts and target your maximum heart rate to rev up your metabolism, and you’re one step closer to saying farewell to excess fat, per Bicycling. To turn your body into a fat-blasting powerhouse, do any variation of these four common exercises to get the most out of your next workout.
1. Running: Change up the intensity
Running is a great cardiovascular exercise, but you’ll want to run at more than just a steady state if you really want to boost benefits. Active says that one way to turn the classic exercise into a fat-blasting workout is to make sure that you’re changing up the intensity. You can do this with intervals, where you work your heart rate up to its maximum and then slow down to recover before bringing the intensity back up again. This will maximize post-workout calorie burn so that your body continues to burn fat even after your run is complete, per Men’s Fitness.
But you shouldn’t ditch the long, steady runs for good. Active suggests that you should actually perform a long run once a week. A weekly run that lasts for longer than 90 minutes can help your body adjust to using fat as fuel, without it taking a daily toll on your body. You’ll be getting in an intense workout that will also keep your body from doing the same routine day in and day out, which will also continue to challenge your muscles.
2. Cycling: Incorporate intervals
If you’ve never considered cycling as a fat-blasting exercise, you should now. Similar to running, an effective way to push your fitness limits on a bike is through intervals. Bicycling says to try interval training once or twice a week to help target abdominal body fat. For all of you who have abs on your list of fitness goals, this one’s for you. The article adds that your body can benefit even after only 10 to 30 seconds of doing high-intensity exercise. In addition to fat-blasting benefits, you may also notice that afterwards, it’s easier to curb your hunger with a much more controlled appetite. This could be the workout you’ve been missing if you’re looking to lose weight.
Just be careful that you’re not neglecting your rest period by upping the intensity the whole time. The article adds that this can cause stress and inflammation, which can reversely cause body fat to build up. This means you’ll also want to make sure that you throw leisure rides into the week. If you feel like you still need to include a bit of a hard push, make sure to save it for the end. Active says that increasing the intensity right before you finish a long and easy ride is a great way to increase post-workout fat burn.
3. Walking: Accelerate and decelerate your speed
Good news: You can actually torch fat by walking. All you have to do is make sure that your walks aren’t just relaxed strolls in the park. You have to break a sweat, increase your heart rate, and change things up to get the benefits you want. Eat This, Not That says that you should stray away from sticking to the same pace the entire time. By consistently accelerating and decelerating your speed, you can burn up to 20% more calories than if you were to keep your workout at the same pace. And don’t forget to pump your arms as you’re walking. Health mentions that this simple motion can help you increase your speed and burn added calories.
If you want to step things up to an even more challenging level, switch up your terrain. Walk up hills and inclines, stairs, grass, or gravel. To boost calorie burn by up to 50%, you can even take your walk to the sand. The change will keep your body guessing, help burn fat, and prevent your workout from getting boring and repetitive.
4. Dancing: Switch it up
For those who need a fat-blasting exercise other than a traditional treadmill or elliptical session, dance it out. The best part is that there are so many different types of dance varieties you can choose from including hip-hop, belly dancing, salsa, and the cha-cha. This makes it easy to mix things up. Plus, don’t forget about the popular Zumba classes that your gym might offer. Combine regular dance sessions and a wholesome diet into your normal routine, and in time it can help get rid of unwanted body fat all around. It’s a great example of a fun workout that doesn’t always have to feel like exercise.