- Fitness Guides & Advice
Here at Total Fitness, we believe that everybody is better fitter. If you’re new to working out and want to know how you can burn calories fast, we share some of the best workout activities to help you reach your goals.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Hight-Intensity Interval Training is often referred to as HIIT. This type of exercise routine involves short bursts of high-impact exercise, followed by a short recovery. HIIT workouts can vary – which means you can personalise them to suit your preferences or fitness goals. From sprinting, jump rope and cycling, to more bodyweight exercises, these short bursts of activity aim to get your heart rate up in rounds of vigorous exercise. As you get more accustomed to working out, you can try to go for longer intervals and be able to add in more complex routines and moves too, to really reap the benefits of HIIT.
Running on a treadmill
Running is a great exercise for a fast calorie burn, but often the weather can have a real impact on our motivation to get outside and enjoy this type of activity.
At Total Fitness, many of our gyms have indoor running tracks alongside our treadmills so that you can run to your hearts content, whatever the weather. Another benefit of a treadmill is the ability to change the incline level to simulate hill running. Hill running burns more calories, but with complete control of the incline, you can personalise it to your own ability, something that just isn’t possible with natural outdoor terrain.
Alternatives to running
Running isn’t for everyone and can be hard on the knees which isn’t ideal for those with injuries; or you might just not like it as an exercise. There are plenty of other workouts that you can do instead of running that can have the same impact and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Jump rope or skipping is a great exercise that you can do both indoors or out and allows you to switch up your regular running routine. Jump rope at a rate of 100 skips per minute can burn 13 calories per minute. Not only will this type of activity work all your muscles, but it also helps to improve your balance and coordination skills.
Exercising on a stationary bike is a great way to burn just as many calories, if not more than you would when you are running. To get the most out of your ride, you need to do long bursts of high-intensity peddling followed by short bursts of rest. If you want to take your bike ride outdoors, flat tyre biking provides a great workout too. When there isn't enough air in your bike's tyres, it can make it more difficult to peddle, which in turn helps to burn more calories than riding when the tyres are full of air.
Also known as a Cross Trainer, using an Elliptical machine is another great way to burn calories and for those with achy joints and injuries this type of activity is an alternative low-impact cardio exercise. It can provide a variety of exercise routines that simulate hill climbing and interval training to really personalise the workout you want.
As your feet never leave the pedals, your knees, ankles, hips, and other joints don’t take as much of a beating as if you went for a run. You can change the incline on the machine, which will help you to burn calories fast. Why not try your workout in high-intensity intervals, for the potential to burn twice as many calories in the same amount of time.
Most people think of the kettlebell as a strength training tool. While it typically is, you can also use it as a calorie burner and can be a great addition to your workout. Simply hold the kettlebell with both hands and hold it straight out in front of you. Next, swing the kettlebell down and between your legs then back up again. You can continue these motions either for a specific length of time, or for a particular number of swings – depending on your preference – in intervals.
Strength training is important
While cardio is a great way to burn calories, strength training is just as important if you want to tone your muscles. To get the perfect balance of both, you should alternate your cardio days and your strength training days to get the most out of your workouts. On the days that you are focussing on strength training, our personal trainers recommend 15-minutes of cardio to get your heart beating, your blood pumping, and to warm up for an intense strength training workout.
Pilates is similar to yoga, but it helps work your body's core. What is Pilates you ask? Check out our blog to discover more detail and all about the benefits. Pilates includes working your abdominal muscles, you lower back, your obliques, your glutes, and your inner and outer thighs. When you do Pilates, you are developing things that you need for a good workout including flexibility, strength, coordination, balance, muscular endurance, and good posture. Also, the risk of being injured during Pilates is very low. If you are interested in trying Pilates, each of our gyms offers regular Pilates classes, if you aren’t an existing member yet, you can try a class for free.
Make exercise fun
There is nothing better than exercising and burning calories doing something that you love. Group classes can make this fun and here at Total Fitness we offer over 70 classes a week in each of our gyms. Whether you prefer a game of squash, a quick swim, workout on the gym floor, or an activity with the kids, if a day of exercise is disguised as fun and something you do together as a family, you will look forward to it more and it can become a part of your lifestyle.
Extra calorie burning tips away from the gym
Burn calories while watching TV
If you enjoy spending your free time in front of the television watching your favourite shows, you still have an opportunity to burn calories. Each time an advert comes on is a great opportunity to get up and exercise. You don't need any specific equipment, just a range of exercises perfect for right in front of the television. Most adverts last about three minutes. During this time, you can do jumping jacks, jog on the spot, push-ups, and sit-ups to name just a few. You can even alternate exercises during each ad break.
Burn calories in the office
If your job requires you to sit at a desk all day, it can be difficult to incorporate exercise during your daily routine, here are a few things that you can try.
- Park Far Away - Most people arrive at work, and they park as close to the door as possible. If you want to burn extra calories, park as far from the door as possible. Walking further from your car in the morning and back to your car at the end of the day is effective in burning some additional calories.
- Take the Stairs - If work on an upper floor in a building and usually take the elevator, try taking the stairs. Walking up and down stairs can burn calories and is a great way to add some extra steps into your day.
- Walk during your breaks - We can often get into the bad habit of eating our lunch at our desk, or not taking this time as an opportunity to stretch your legs. Why not use the time to get some fresh air, do a few laps of the building, or take the stairs when moving about the office? This does more for your body than just getting some extra steps in, a break from the screen and a change of scenery can impact your focus and wellbeing too.
- Sit on a Stability Ball - Sitting at a desk all day doesn't burn any calories at all. If you replace your office chair with a stability ball it can make a big difference. Not only will it improve your posture and work your core, but you can also burn up to 260 calories a day by just sitting at your desk doing your work. With remote working now a much more accessible alternative to the office, why not use your working from home days to mix up your home office furniture and swap your chair for a stability ball for a few hours a day.
- Change your evening routine - Many people go home from work, eat a big dinner, and sit down in front of the television and before you know it, it’s time for bed. If you want to burn more calories and lose weight, you could consider changing your evening routine. Rather than having a big dinner late in the evening, replace this with a smaller meal in the late afternoon, and why not take a long walk after dinner.
Not only is this a great opportunity to get some fresh air, but it can also help burn some of the calories that you consumed during dinner. Taking your walk with your significant other or your children will give you a chance to share the details of your day and bond. If you have a dog, take him along for the walk. He will appreciate it as much as you do. If you carry 2KG weights during your walk, you can burn more calories.
Technology and smart devices can keep you on track
The data that we can collect on ourselves these days is incredible. With the number of devices and apps, there is something for everyone no matter what your fitness goals, from gym apps, step trackers, heart rate monitors, calorie trackers and even ones that you can log your food and drink intake too. These are all very important aspects if you are going to reach your weight loss goals. You can even sync up certain devices with your exercise equipment, so that you can get an accurate count of the calories burned during your workout.
Having access to some of this data, alongside the ability to see the impact of our lifestyle can be helpful when trying to become fitter and healthier. They allow us to create realistic goals, track progress, and work towards a lifestyle change that you are more likely to continue and keep up with.
The best ways to burn calories fast is to eat right and do high intensity workouts as part of a healthy lifestyle. There are plenty of different ways that you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine, so choose some of the ones that work best for you and be the best version of yourself.