Regular exercise is essential for managing your weight, reducing your disease risk, and much more. But if you’re not maximizing your calorie burn during your daily dose of activity, you could be selling your health short.
Take our quiz and find out if you’re a calorie-torching master, or if you need to make over your fitness routine for more effective workouts.
Although yoga and Pilates are both low-impact exercises, Pilates’ emphasis on core work gives it the slight calorie-burning edge over yoga. To increase the calories you burn during yoga, consider adopting a more vigorous style or trying a power yoga class.
Walking on an incline is certainly more effective than walking on a flat surface, but it’s still not enough to beat the calorie burn that comes from light jogging. However, if your goal is to keep your heart rate in a fat-burning zone, walking on an incline might be your best bet. Try exercising with a heart rate monitor to make sure you’re on track.
In this contest, a high-energy Zumba class is the clear winner, and it is a faster workout than a full hour on the elliptical trainer. The key to Zumba’s effectiveness is its intervals — the classes alternate between rhythms such as salsa, hip-hop, cha-cha, and even belly dancing to maximize the calorie burn.
Cleaning your house is one of the most effective ways to burn calories at home. Between the standing, scrubbing, and sweeping that come with housework, it torches more calories than the same time spent working in your garden.
5. Jumping rope
If you haven’t jumped rope since gym class, you might have forgotten what a good workout it can be. Thirty minutes of jumping rope torches far more calories than a full hour spent doing aerobics.
Military-style boot camp workouts can be intense, but the energy boxing or sparring requires still burns more calories.
To help keep you on track, change some element of your fitness routine every four to six weeks to avoid boredom or a weight loss plateau. If you’re trying to burn fat or increase your cardio endurance, consider working out with a heart-rate monitor to make sure you are exercising at the right pace for your individual goals.