How to Burn Calories
Just about everything you do burns calories. It's true. You burn calories just sitting still. Your body burns calories while digesting food. You burn calories from chewing gum. But. Yes, there's a but.
You will not burn enough calories to maintain a healthy lifestyle just by relying on these kinds of calorie burners. The most efficient way to burn calories is through cardiovascular exercise. Consistent cardio exercise at a level that challenges you is the best way to burn calories, whether you are trying to maintain your weight or lose weight.
What is a cardio workout?
Cardio exercise is movement that raises your heart rate for a period of time like 20 to 30 minutes, or even longer. During your cardio workout, you should be sweating and breathing hard during the most intense part of your workout.
How do you know your workout is enough cardio?
Stay within your target heart range or use the simple Talk Test to make sure you are working at a good intensity. If your intensity is too easy, then your workout won’t be as effective. On the flip side, you could hurt yourself by working at an intensity that is too hard. What’s the Talk Test? You should be able to comfortably answer a question while exercising. Gasping and too out of breath to get the words out? You are probably overexerting yourself. Are you able to carry on a long discussion without a problem? Probably not exerting yourself enough.
How often should I exercise?
You should aim to work out five or six days a week. But, if you are new to exercising, then go for a minimum of three days a week. Gradually up the intensity of your workouts, and start increasing the frequency.
But don’t forget to give yourself rest days too. Recovery is good for the body (as long as it has something to recover from).
How long should I exercise?
It can range from 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Start out at what is comfortable for you, but don’t hesitate to push yourself a bit further. The more minutes you exercise after those initial 20 minutes, the more calories you are burning.
You don’t have to do your entire workout at once. If you do several mini-workouts throughout the day, you can easily fit 60 minutes in. The minutes add up quickly if you pay attention and plan.
Calorie Burning Exercises
Seriously, just about anything can burn calories, but effective calorie burners are those that get your heart rate up.
Unfortunately, some ineffective calorie burners are:
Sex (I know it sucks...but you can't count it as cardio)
Strength Training (it is so good for you, and everyone should do it, but it should be done in addition to cardio)
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Does Sex Count as Cardio?
- How many calories does sex burn?
For all of you wondering why I listed sex as an ineffective activity for a cardio workout, check out this article on the SparkPeople website. I bet it will answer a lot of your questions.