Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know summer is coming and we all want to look good in our bathing suits (and THANK YOU social media world for celebrating mommy-pouches and non-anorexic models finally). If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you know our stance: No magic bullet, just eating the right combinations of food and killing it at the gym with a combination of strength training to build muscle and cardio to burn fat. It really does start with what you’re putting into your body. There’s no workout in the world that can compensate for a diet filled with processed carbs and sugars.
Let’s assume that you’re eating right, though. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times that your best fat-buster is always going to be lean muscle, hands down. Don’t be one of those skinny-fat girls who lifts five pound dumbbells 100 times because she’s scared of bulking up. At the same time, you do need some cardio to burn off excess fat.
HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training is the best thing to happen to cardio since step aerobics! The beauty of this is that you go at max capacity for short durations and then you’re done. You’re always pushing yourself to the limit and beyond AND it doesn’t take all day. You can seriously get all the cardio you need for the day in 20-25 minutes using HIIT versus joggins for an hour and a half.
Kickboxing: This is great, because it uses muscles that you don’t usually engage, it involves high intense bursts of energy, and it’s fun. All ingredients for burning calories enjoyably.
Hill Running: I never thought I was a slacker until I got my heart rate monitor. Then I realized that left to my own devices, I would drift to a comfortable pace, and comfortable does NOT torch fat. Hills are great because you can’t slack. They are what they are and you have to get up them. An excellent way to add intensity to your outdoor workouts.
Stairs: Stairs are like hills, in that they naturally incorporate high intensity intervals into your outing. You can run up them, down them, take them two at a time. Whatever you choose, your heart rate monitor will confirm that you are working harder on the stairs.
Hiking: Hiking is a great way to elevate your heart rate and activate muscles you don’t use everyday. You can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy nature, or you can take a workout buddy and turn it into cardio day. Keep a fast pace up the hills, jog on the flat spots, there’s a lot you can do to make your hikes into a massive cardio session.
All these activities will help your body burn excess energy (i.e. FAT) off your body. Make sure you are eating enough protein so that your lean muscle mass isn’t utilized as well.