Right now, you’re probably gaining weight. Really. The typical adult puts on nearly a pound a year, research shows. Luckily, to put the brakes on a slowly-growing waist, you don’t have to totally overhaul your exercise routine, says Scott Weiss, PhD, exercise physiologist and strength and conditioning specialist in New York. Instead, use these expert-backed workouts and tips to crank up your calorie expenditure without killing yourself or clocking in extra gym time. No matter your preferred mode of sweating — rowing, running, yoga, or CrossFit — we’ve got a workout that will torch more calories in less time.
“Running offers a full-body resistance workout, and few activities match its calorie expenditure,” says Weiss. Send that burn rate even higher by adding these moves to your run: Start with five minutes at a comfortable even-grade jog, then do five minutes up a hill or 5 percent incline on the treadmill. For the last 10 minutes, return to a comfortable pace on a flat surface and work in 6-10 interval sprints lasting 10 seconds each. Intervals power your heart rate and metabolism, and that burns extra calories, says Weiss.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Estimated Calories Burned: 250
Do a version of yoga that keeps you moving rather than horizontal on the mat. “Vinyasa, or flow yoga, has you going from one movement to the next, which elevates your heart rate throughout the workout,” says Shannon Fable, director of exercise programming at Anytime Fitness in Boulder, Colorado. “Ashtanga yoga involves strength-based moves requiring more energy.” Power your burn even more by working in push-ups during transitions from pose to pose. And get low in any lunge-type pose, like warrior lunges; this requires more strength and result in greater calorie expenditure, says Fable.
Total Time: 60 minutes
Estimated Calories Burned: 350-600
First, find the right leg speed for you (the average speed falls between 70-90 RPMs) and then work that resistance button, says Fable. “Keeping your RPMs steady and boosting the resistance to an intense level is what torches calories,” she says. While the resistance is high, try to work in at least ten 30-second wind sprints, cranking your heart rate and metabolism even higher. And if you’re up for a challenge, keep your butt off the bike seat, so you bear all your weight on your legs, increasing the resistance and the calorie burn.
Total Time: 40 minutes
Estimated Calories Burned: 400-600