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6 Tips to Take the Weight Off


1. Ramp it up Walking or running on an incline, or climbing steps, torches a lot more calories than going at the same intensity on a flat surface. It also will achieve superior sculpting for the quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and calves.

2. Bound As you walk or run, add intervals of explosive movement -- leap in zigzag fashion up a trail, jump from rock to rock. You'll use more muscle to keep your balance and to bound, and work new muscles too.

3. Walk with poles A recent study showed that using poles while walking can burn 20-25 percent more calories. "Just don't carry the poles along for the ride," says John Porcari, Ph.D., professor of exercise and sport science at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. "Swing, plant and push off."

4. Change surfaces Grass, sand, and dirt surfaces make you work harder than pavement or concrete. (Soft sand is tops, upping calorie burn by 30-50 percent at the same pace.) Try interval sessions where you alternate between hard and soft sand or a track and grass, keeping the pace the same.

5. Cut calorie intake Proper diet and exercise is the winning combo for weight loss. "Think in terms of a total energy deficit for the day," advises John M. Jakicic, Ph.D., the director of the Physical Activity Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, who chaired the writing committee for the American College of Sports Medicine's weight-loss guidelines. "Burn more calories than you eat, and eventually you'll burn stored fat."

6. Strength train Resistance exercise builds muscle, which incinerates more calories. It also gives a sleeker appearance by toning and firming. Best of all, with a stronger body, you can run, walk, hike, swim, kayak -- do just about anything active -- longer, so you can kiss even more calories goodbye.


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