Burn Hundreds of Extra Calories With These 5 Treadmill Tweaks

Burn Hundreds of Extra Calories With These 5 Treadmill Tweaks

Bad weather can’t get in the way of your treadmill runs! That’s what’s so great about running inside. But if you’ve hit a plateau with your workouts or you’re not losing as much weight as you think you should| follow these calorie-burning tips the next time you hop on the moving belt.

| Bring Hills Indoors

Pumping up the incline will not only help prevent shin splints| but it also tones your tush| thighs| and calves while burning extra calories. After a 30-minute workout at a 10-minute-per-mile pace| you’ll burn 270 calories with no incline| 363 with a five percent incline| 420 with a 10 percent incline| and 482 with a 15 percent incline (crazy steep| I know).

| Slow and Steady Doesn’t Always Win the Race

On long| slow runs when you need to take it easy| it’s great to travel along at a consistent pace. But during your intense workouts| take advantage of intervals. By alternating between running a few minutes at a moderate pace and throwing in sprinting bursts| you’ll end up burning more calories| building your endurance| and becoming a faster| stronger runner. Not to mention| intervals have also been proven to fight belly fat.

| I Think I Can| I Think I Can

Whether you prefer chugging along at a consistent speed or doing intervals| to get the most out of your workouts| you’ve got to make continued progress. One way to do that is to gradually increase your speed. Don’t jump from 10-minute miles to eight-minute miles because you could seriously hurt yourself. Instead increase your pace just slightly so your body has time to adjust.

| Compete Against Friends (or Strangers)

If you hit the gym with a buddy| do your workouts on side-by-side treadmills. You can use one another’s energy for motivation to run faster or longer than you would if you were alone. If you’re at the gym solo| find a stranger on a treadmill to secretly race with.

| No Need to Hold On For Dear Life

You should be moving at a pace that’s fast enough to get your heart and muscles working| but not so speedy that you have to hold on in order to prevent falling. When you release your grasp of the handles| it allows you to swing your arms| which will not only burn more calories| but will also tone your core and upper body. Holding on can also contribute to bad posture| which can lead to back and shoulder pain.

Should You Run Before You Lift?

If you ask 100 people if you should do cardio before or after strength training, chances are that you’ll get an even split of answers. The surprising part of each answer, however, is that you’ll get about 100 different reasons why you should or shouldn’t do cardio first. Let’s cut through the myths and misconceptions and give you the answers you need to build your best body!

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered something very shocking: it doesn’t really make a difference if you do cardio before or after training. Whether you’re lifting weights or getting sweaty on a cardio machine, the same hormones spike. Also, you won’t really notice much of a difference in your performance either way.

Even though the study was rather clear about the findings, opinions still vary. According to fitness coach Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, “It’s always better to do your strength training before cardio because you want to do your heavier stuff when your body is fresh. If you did it the other way, your body would get tired so you wouldn’t be able to lift as much weight and your technique would worsen.”

Diana Chaloux, CPT and owner of the online personal training website HitchFit.com, indicates that, “If your goal is fat loss, the ideal situation would be to perform strength training first, followed by cardiovascular training.” She explains that “when you strength train, your body utilizes glycogen (which is stored carbohydrates) for fuel, so if you strength train first, and then do cardio immediately after (which prefers fat for fuel for lower intensity cardio), you would create an environment in your body conducive to fat metabolism.”

What about morning cardio, you may ask? Well, research published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that people can burn up to 20 percent more body fat by running in the morning on an empty stomach. What does this mean for you? Some experts advise breaking up your training efforts to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and then weights later on in the day with a pre-workout protein-based snack.

What does this mean for you? You’ve got options ¡ª and there’s never anything wrong with that! Our advice? If you can split your training efforts into two separate workouts, hit the gym on an empty stomach in the morning and do your cardio (and lift weights later in the day in a different session). If you can’t go to the gym twice in one day, make the most of your single session by hitting the weights first then doing your cardio. This way you can do the heavy stuff when you are at your optimum energy levels.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

Should You Run Before You Lift?

If you ask 100 people if you should do cardio before or after strength training| chances are that you’ll get an even split of answers. The surprising part of each answer| however| is that you’ll get about 100 different reasons why you should or shouldn’t do cardio first. Let’s cut through the myths and misconceptions and give you the answers you need to build your best body!

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered something very shocking: it doesn’t really make a difference if you do cardio before or after training. Whether you’re lifting weights or getting sweaty on a cardio machine| the same hormones spike. Also| you won’t really notice much of a difference in your performance either way.

Even though the study was rather clear about the findings| opinions still vary. According to fitness coach Anthony J. Yeung| CSCS| “It’s always better to do your strength training before cardio because you want to do your heavier stuff when your body is fresh. If you did it the other way| your body would get tired so you wouldn’t be able to lift as much weight and your technique would worsen.”

Diana Chaloux| CPT and owner of the online personal training website HitchFit.com| indicates that| “If your goal is fat loss| the ideal situation would be to perform strength training first| followed by cardiovascular training.” She explains that “when you strength train| your body utilizes glycogen (which is stored carbohydrates) for fuel| so if you strength train first| and then do cardio immediately after (which prefers fat for fuel for lower intensity cardio)| you would create an environment in your body conducive to fat metabolism.”

What about morning cardio| you may ask? Well| research published by the British Journal of Nutrition found that people can burn up to 20 percent more body fat by running in the morning on an empty stomach. What does this mean for you? Some experts advise breaking up your training efforts to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach and then weights later on in the day with a pre-workout protein-based snack.

What does this mean for you? You’ve got options ¡ª and there’s never anything wrong with that! Our advice? If you can split your training efforts into two separate workouts| hit the gym on an empty stomach in the morning and do your cardio (and lift weights later in the day in a different session). If you can’t go to the gym twice in one day| make the most of your single session by hitting the weights first then doing your cardio. This way you can do the heavy stuff when you are at your optimum energy levels.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

The 100 Best Fitness Tips You Need to Know

The 100 Best Fitness Tips You Need to Know

Staying strong and fit takes dedication every single day| so keep these 100 tips in mind to keep you confidently chugging along on that healthy path.

| Running

  1. Take the first five minutes of your run to warm up. Go a little slower to work out the kinks and mentally prepare for your run.
  2. Learn to breathe deeply to maximize your oxygen input.
  3. If you’re trying to run at a certain speed| use music to set your pace.
  4. Run with someone faster than you to push you to increase your speed or distance. It could be a workout buddy| a stranger on the treadmill at the gym| or that runner just up the trail from you.
  5. Run faster up hills by focusing on the top of the hill| not your feet. It’ll help open your airways| and when it’s easier to breathe| it’s easier to run.
  6. Raise the incline on the treadmill to increase your calorie burn. A five percent incline will burn almost 100 more calories| so pump it up!
  7. Switch up your route or workout every time you run to keep your muscles guessing and to beat boredom; run your outside loop backward.
  8. Don’t run every day. Vary your cardio to prevent overuse injuries and to strengthen other muscles.
  9. Work on your running form to avoid pain or injuries.
  10. To avoid injury when increasing your mileage| follow the 10 percent rule: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of the previous week.
  11. On longer runs| aim to have a negative split. The second half of your run should be faster than the first to avoid bonking and to finish strong.
  12. Running outside not only boosts your mood| but the uneven terrain| especially when trail running| requires more balance| agility| and coordination| which makes your muscles work harder.
  13. Don’t skip the cooldown u2014 it preps your body for your next workout! Do this postrun stretching sequence to target the hips| hamstrings| and lower back.

| Cardio

  1. Push yourself to go five extra minutes u2014 you’ll burn close to 50 calories more.
  2. Burn more calories on the elliptical. Turn up the resistance and aim for 140 to 160 strides per minute (SPM). Pull and push the handles to work your upper body; go backward| pushing into your heels to target your glutes and hamstrings; and challenge your core by pumping the arms without holding on.
  3. Intervals aren’t just for running! Aside from reducing belly fat| they also build endurance and increase your speed. Do sprinting bursts during all types of cardio| whether you’re cycling| jumping rope| dancing| or swimming u2014 it also works for all types of cardio machines.
  4. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) burns tons of calories in a short amount of time. Try Tabata| which combines 20 seconds of intense bursts of activity with 10 seconds of rest in four-minute rounds.
  5. Mix up cardio machines within a workout to target different muscles and keep your workout exciting. This workout combines the rowing machine| elliptical| and treadmill.
  6. Combine strength training and cardio into one workout for serious metabolic conditioning. Try this 30-minute workout that mixes jumping rope with bodyweight exercises.

| Strength Training

  1. Do a light cardio warmup before strength training to help prevent injury and post-workout soreness.
  2. Proper form is more important than number of reps; use a mirror to check your form.
  3. If you want to see results faster| do at least three strength-training sessions per week.
  4. Save time and burn more calories by doing supersets| working opposing muscle groups back-to-back| and moving quickly from one exercise to the next without resting.
  5. Don’t just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands| kettlebells| stability balls| medicine balls| and barbells| as well as moves that require no equipment.
  6. Bodyweight exercises are shown to strength-training moves.
  7. Take rest days! If you did arms Monday| do legs Tuesday. Rest days allow your muscles time to heal and get stronger.

| Yoga

  1. Yoga should never hurt. Push your muscles to the point of being worked| not overstretched.
  2. Deep and even inhalations and exhalations should be your main focus. Use your breath to guide your movements and to know how long to hold poses. Move at your own pace u2014 it’s OK to go out of sync with the rest of the class.
  3. Your soft drishti (focused gaze) is important. It relaxes the mind and helps you stay balanced in challenging poses.
  4. In standing poses like Warrior 1 and Fierce| make a mental note to relax the toes. Clenching the mat for dear life puts unnecessary strain on the feet.
  5. Borrowing a mat for your first class is fine| but after that| it’s time to buy your own yoga mat to reduce your exposure to germs and bacteria.
  6. Bring a hand towel to wipe sweat from your face and to place on the top of your mat to prevent slippage.
  7. Wear capris or pants. The fabric will absorb more sweat and will also make arm-balancing poses easier (slippery skin-on-skin contact is dangerous!).
  8. It’s OK to speak up if an instructor’s adjustment is hurting you or if you don’t want to be touched at all.
  9. Do Chaturanga push-ups to work your triceps even more during vinyasas and Sun Salutations.
  10. Choose faster-paced styles of yoga such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa to burn more calories while also getting a good stretch.

| Gym

  1. To avoid getting sick| clean off machines and equipment before you use them. Even though the person before you is supposed to do it| they may have forgotten.
  2. Don’t trust the calorie count on the machines. Use a heart rate monitor for more accuracy.
  3. Since class descriptions are often vague| watch a fitness class before you take it to avoid having to walk out of a class you don’t like or that’s too advanced for your fitness level.
  4. Try out different instructors to find one who challenges and motivates you the most.
  5. Preregister for classes when available to save time before class.
  6. Show up for a class at least five minutes early to get a good spot| shake off any stress from the day| and chat with the instructor if you need to let them know you have an injury.
  7. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned exerciser| anyone can benefit from a session with a personal trainer. Schedule one every few months to ensure you’re continuing with proper form and to learn new moves to keep your fire for fitness alive.
  8. To ensure your shoelaces don’t come undone during your workout (which could be bad news when using gym equipment)| watch this video to find out the best way to tie your shoes.
  9. Wear your exercise clothes underneath your everyday or work outfit if possible. Not only will it save you time in the locker room| but if you’re already wearing your sports bra and capris| you’re less likely to skip that noon SoulCycle class.

| Fuel

  1. If you’re doing an early morning workout| some experts say it’s OK to run on an empty stomach. But if you’re doing a longer workout| fuel up with some protein and simple carbs| such as half a banana and a handful of almonds.
  2. Studies show that a little bit of caffeine can help improve your stamina| strength| and speed| so sip on a small cup of coffee before working out.
  3. For workouts later in the day| make sure to eat a meal or snack one to two hours before a workout that focuses on carbs and a little protein.
  4. It’s essential to hydrate before a workout. Drink about 15 to 20 ounces of water.
  5. To prevent cramps while working out| sip on small amounts of water instead of gulping it down.
  6. Sugary sports drinks aren’t necessary unless you’ve been exercising intensely for over an hour. So for shorter workouts| rehydrate with water or coconut water.
  7. To replenish lost energy while also helping worked muscles repair| eat a 150-calorie post-workout snack within 30 minutes after your workout. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
  8. Chocolate milk makes an excellent recovery drink because it not only follows this ratio| but also offers calcium needed to strengthen bones and muscles.

| Gear

  1. Shop for workout sneakers later in the day (when your feet are at their largest) to ensure a proper fit.
  2. You do not need to break in running shoes u2014 they should feel comfortable the moment you run in them. Don’t feel shy about running around in the store to test them out.
  3. Write the date you bought your sneakers on the inside of the tongue. After 300 to 500 miles| replace them with a new pair u2014 so pay attention to your weekly and monthly mileage.
  4. Choose gear based on your needs| not on style. If you’re running on the road| don’t choose a pair of trail runners just because you like how they look.
  5. Test out workout gear in the dressing room before you buy it. Run in place to see how the fabric moves with you| do a Down Dog to make sure your boobs don’t fall out of your top| and of course| do a wide straddle in front of the mirror to avoid purchasing see-through leggings.
  6. Wicking gear is a must to keep you dry and prevent chafing| so skip the cotton (including undies)| and choose fabrics that breathe and pull moisture away from the skin.
  7. Never wear two sports bras! If you’re in need of greater support| find a company| like Moving Comfort| that caters to larger-chested women.
  8. Since you probably don’t own a sports bra for every day of the week you work out| while taking your post-workout shower| hand wash your sports bra and hang it on the rod to dry for tomorrow.
  9. Once you find a sneaker| sports bra| or top you love| stock up! You can break it out as soon as the original is on its way out.
  10. Inspect your fitness gear every so often for safety and effectiveness. An exercise band that has a tear or worn-out sneaks are an injury waiting to happen.
  11. Splurge on an expensive yoga mat like the Manduka Black Mat Pro. It won’t break down like cheaper mats and has a lifetime warranty| so you’ll only need to buy one mat.

| Workouts and Weight Loss

  1. You can’t spot-reduce fat from a certain area| like your belly u2014 you have to work all areas in order to see a difference in how your body looks.
  2. Exercise in the morning; research shows that morning exercisers burn more calories| possibly because that’s when your body’s energy is at its peak.
  3. Do 60-minute heart-pumping cardio workouts five times a week if your goal is to lose weight.
  4. Intervals are proven to reduce belly fat and rev up metabolism; instead of running at the same pace for the entire workout| alternate between periods of pushing your body to the max and periods of recovery.
  5. Muscle mass burns more calories than fat| so strength training is a must if you want to drop pounds. Include at least three 30-minute sessions each week| making sure to work every part of your body.
  6. Short on time? The average person burns 400 calories in 20 minutes when doing kettlebell exercises. Try these seven kettlebell moves.
  7. Find ways to fit fitness in during your workday to burn some extra calories. Climb the stairs to use the bathroom on a different floor of your office building| take a walk during conference calls| and instead of sitting on a chair| sit on a stability ball or use a standing desk.
  8. Can’t fit in one regular workout? Break it up and squeeze in one of these 10-minute workouts three or four times a day.
  9. Just because you went for a run doesn’t mean you can eat an ice cream sundae and fries afterward. Fuel yourself appropriately| whether it’s with a 150-calorie snack or 400- to 500-calorie meal that’s complete with veggies| fruit| protein| and whole grains.

| Motivation

  1. Get everything ready the night before| including your outfit| headphones| gym bag| and yoga mat u2014 whatever you need.
  2. On Sunday night| plan out the week’s workouts. Make fitness dates| find the yoga class that fits your schedule| and print out a new strength-training workout. Once they’re planned out| write them down to make them official appointments you cannot skip.
  3. Keep a fitness journal or calendar| and write down every workout you do| so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Or if you’ve been skipping workouts| seeing blank pages will help motivate you to get back on the fitness train.
  4. Make a morning motivation jar to inspire a little fitness when you hop out of bed.
  5. Pay for gym memberships or personal-training sessions ahead of time so you’re more likely to follow through.
  6. Have workout-only music| books on tape| and Netflix shows you watch. If you’re binge-watching last season’s Orange Is the New Black| you’ll be psyched to get back on the treadmill to catch the next episode.
  7. Post your fitness life to social media| whether it’s sweaty workout selfies| gym rants| or a pic of some new gear. Comments from friends and family are sure to encourage you to stay on the fit path.
  8. Write motivational quotes on sticky notes and put them anywhere you need them u2014 on your bathroom mirror| on the fridge| in your car| or on your computer monitor.
  9. Leave workout gear around your house| such as dumbbells by the TV or an unrolled yoga mat on the floor of your bedroom| for in-your-face reminders to fit in a little fitness whenever you can.
  10. Sign up for a race. Having to follow a training schedule will give you the push you need to get in a workout.
  11. Not into racing? Look deep to find a meaningful personal goal that alone will keep you motivated to work out.
  12. Monitor your workouts with a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit)| a basic pedometer| or a fitness app (like Nike+). They can help nudge you when you’re on the fence about working out| and they can also push you to work out harder.
  13. Put a dollar in a jar every time you work out and at the end of the month| reward yourself with a healthy surprise.

| Recovery and Injury Prevention

  1. Never stretch before a cardio workout; save it for after when your muscles are warm and pliable.
  2. If you’re short on time| do these stretches during your hot post-workout shower.
  3. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the achy feeling your body experiences 24 to 48 hours after a strenuous workout. You can tell it’s not an injury because you’ll feel it on both sides of the body.
  4. Self-massage your stiff| overtrained muscles by using a foam roller. These exercises are designed for runners.
  5. For aches and pains| it’s important to know when to ice and when to apply heat| so check out this helpful chart.
  6. Prevent common running injuries by strengthening weak areas u2014 glutes| shins| core u2014 with these exercises.
  7. To prevent shin splints on a treadmill| raise the incline to at least one percent u2014 better yet| two.
  8. To prevent plantar fasciitis| do this seated foot stretch.
  9. Rest days are essential for three reasons. They give your body time to repair and get stronger| help prevent injury| and offer you a mental break.

The 100 Best Fitness Tips You Need to Know

The 100 Best Fitness Tips You Need to Know

Staying strong and fit takes dedication every single day, so keep these 100 tips in mind to keep you confidently chugging along on that healthy path.

| Running

  1. Take the first five minutes of your run to warm up. Go a little slower to work out the kinks and mentally prepare for your run.
  2. Learn to breathe deeply to maximize your oxygen input.
  3. If you’re trying to run at a certain speed, use music to set your pace.
  4. Run with someone faster than you to push you to increase your speed or distance. It could be a workout buddy, a stranger on the treadmill at the gym, or that runner just up the trail from you.
  5. Run faster up hills by focusing on the top of the hill, not your feet. It’ll help open your airways, and when it’s easier to breathe, it’s easier to run.
  6. Raise the incline on the treadmill to increase your calorie burn. A five percent incline will burn almost 100 more calories, so pump it up!
  7. Switch up your route or workout every time you run to keep your muscles guessing and to beat boredom; run your outside loop backward.
  8. Don’t run every day. Vary your cardio to prevent overuse injuries and to strengthen other muscles.
  9. Work on your running form to avoid pain or injuries.
  10. To avoid injury when increasing your mileage, follow the 10 percent rule: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of the previous week.
  11. On longer runs, aim to have a negative split. The second half of your run should be faster than the first to avoid bonking and to finish strong.
  12. Running outside not only boosts your mood, but the uneven terrain, especially when trail running, requires more balance, agility, and coordination, which makes your muscles work harder.
  13. Don’t skip the cooldown u2014 it preps your body for your next workout! Do this postrun stretching sequence to target the hips, hamstrings, and lower back.

| Cardio

  1. Push yourself to go five extra minutes u2014 you’ll burn close to 50 calories more.
  2. Burn more calories on the elliptical. Turn up the resistance and aim for 140 to 160 strides per minute (SPM). Pull and push the handles to work your upper body; go backward, pushing into your heels to target your glutes and hamstrings; and challenge your core by pumping the arms without holding on.
  3. Intervals aren’t just for running! Aside from reducing belly fat, they also build endurance and increase your speed. Do sprinting bursts during all types of cardio, whether you’re cycling, jumping rope, dancing, or swimming u2014 it also works for all types of cardio machines.
  4. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) burns tons of calories in a short amount of time. Try Tabata, which combines 20 seconds of intense bursts of activity with 10 seconds of rest in four-minute rounds.
  5. Mix up cardio machines within a workout to target different muscles and keep your workout exciting. This workout combines the rowing machine, elliptical, and treadmill.
  6. Combine strength training and cardio into one workout for serious metabolic conditioning. Try this 30-minute workout that mixes jumping rope with bodyweight exercises.

| Strength Training

  1. Do a light cardio warmup before strength training to help prevent injury and post-workout soreness.
  2. Proper form is more important than number of reps; use a mirror to check your form.
  3. If you want to see results faster, do at least three strength-training sessions per week.
  4. Save time and burn more calories by doing supersets, working opposing muscle groups back-to-back, and moving quickly from one exercise to the next without resting.
  5. Don’t just lift dumbbells. Explore all types of equipment including resistance bands, kettlebells, stability balls, medicine balls, and barbells, as well as moves that require no equipment.
  6. Bodyweight exercises are shown to strength-training moves.
  7. Take rest days! If you did arms Monday, do legs Tuesday. Rest days allow your muscles time to heal and get stronger.

| Yoga

  1. Yoga should never hurt. Push your muscles to the point of being worked, not overstretched.
  2. Deep and even inhalations and exhalations should be your main focus. Use your breath to guide your movements and to know how long to hold poses. Move at your own pace u2014 it’s OK to go out of sync with the rest of the class.
  3. Your soft drishti (focused gaze) is important. It relaxes the mind and helps you stay balanced in challenging poses.
  4. In standing poses like Warrior 1 and Fierce, make a mental note to relax the toes. Clenching the mat for dear life puts unnecessary strain on the feet.
  5. Borrowing a mat for your first class is fine, but after that, it’s time to buy your own yoga mat to reduce your exposure to germs and bacteria.
  6. Bring a hand towel to wipe sweat from your face and to place on the top of your mat to prevent slippage.
  7. Wear capris or pants. The fabric will absorb more sweat and will also make arm-balancing poses easier (slippery skin-on-skin contact is dangerous!).
  8. It’s OK to speak up if an instructor’s adjustment is hurting you or if you don’t want to be touched at all.
  9. Do Chaturanga push-ups to work your triceps even more during vinyasas and Sun Salutations.
  10. Choose faster-paced styles of yoga such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa to burn more calories while also getting a good stretch.

| Gym

  1. To avoid getting sick, clean off machines and equipment before you use them. Even though the person before you is supposed to do it, they may have forgotten.
  2. Don’t trust the calorie count on the machines. Use a heart rate monitor for more accuracy.
  3. Since class descriptions are often vague, watch a fitness class before you take it to avoid having to walk out of a class you don’t like or that’s too advanced for your fitness level.
  4. Try out different instructors to find one who challenges and motivates you the most.
  5. Preregister for classes when available to save time before class.
  6. Show up for a class at least five minutes early to get a good spot, shake off any stress from the day, and chat with the instructor if you need to let them know you have an injury.
  7. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned exerciser, anyone can benefit from a session with a personal trainer. Schedule one every few months to ensure you’re continuing with proper form and to learn new moves to keep your fire for fitness alive.
  8. To ensure your shoelaces don’t come undone during your workout (which could be bad news when using gym equipment), watch this video to find out the best way to tie your shoes.
  9. Wear your exercise clothes underneath your everyday or work outfit if possible. Not only will it save you time in the locker room, but if you’re already wearing your sports bra and capris, you’re less likely to skip that noon SoulCycle class.

| Fuel

  1. If you’re doing an early morning workout, some experts say it’s OK to run on an empty stomach. But if you’re doing a longer workout, fuel up with some protein and simple carbs, such as half a banana and a handful of almonds.
  2. Studies show that a little bit of caffeine can help improve your stamina, strength, and speed, so sip on a small cup of coffee before working out.
  3. For workouts later in the day, make sure to eat a meal or snack one to two hours before a workout that focuses on carbs and a little protein.
  4. It’s essential to hydrate before a workout. Drink about 15 to 20 ounces of water.
  5. To prevent cramps while working out, sip on small amounts of water instead of gulping it down.
  6. Sugary sports drinks aren’t necessary unless you’ve been exercising intensely for over an hour. So for shorter workouts, rehydrate with water or coconut water.
  7. To replenish lost energy while also helping worked muscles repair, eat a 150-calorie post-workout snack within 30 minutes after your workout. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
  8. Chocolate milk makes an excellent recovery drink because it not only follows this ratio, but also offers calcium needed to strengthen bones and muscles.

| Gear

  1. Shop for workout sneakers later in the day (when your feet are at their largest) to ensure a proper fit.
  2. You do not need to break in running shoes u2014 they should feel comfortable the moment you run in them. Don’t feel shy about running around in the store to test them out.
  3. Write the date you bought your sneakers on the inside of the tongue. After 300 to 500 miles, replace them with a new pair u2014 so pay attention to your weekly and monthly mileage.
  4. Choose gear based on your needs, not on style. If you’re running on the road, don’t choose a pair of trail runners just because you like how they look.
  5. Test out workout gear in the dressing room before you buy it. Run in place to see how the fabric moves with you, do a Down Dog to make sure your boobs don’t fall out of your top, and of course, do a wide straddle in front of the mirror to avoid purchasing see-through leggings.
  6. Wicking gear is a must to keep you dry and prevent chafing, so skip the cotton (including undies), and choose fabrics that breathe and pull moisture away from the skin.
  7. Never wear two sports bras! If you’re in need of greater support, find a company, like Moving Comfort, that caters to larger-chested women.
  8. Since you probably don’t own a sports bra for every day of the week you work out, while taking your post-workout shower, hand wash your sports bra and hang it on the rod to dry for tomorrow.
  9. Once you find a sneaker, sports bra, or top you love, stock up! You can break it out as soon as the original is on its way out.
  10. Inspect your fitness gear every so often for safety and effectiveness. An exercise band that has a tear or worn-out sneaks are an injury waiting to happen.
  11. Splurge on an expensive yoga mat like the Manduka Black Mat Pro. It won’t break down like cheaper mats and has a lifetime warranty, so you’ll only need to buy one mat.

| Workouts and Weight Loss

  1. You can’t spot-reduce fat from a certain area, like your belly u2014 you have to work all areas in order to see a difference in how your body looks.
  2. Exercise in the morning; research shows that morning exercisers burn more calories, possibly because that’s when your body’s energy is at its peak.
  3. Do 60-minute heart-pumping cardio workouts five times a week if your goal is to lose weight.
  4. Intervals are proven to reduce belly fat and rev up metabolism; instead of running at the same pace for the entire workout, alternate between periods of pushing your body to the max and periods of recovery.
  5. Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, so strength training is a must if you want to drop pounds. Include at least three 30-minute sessions each week, making sure to work every part of your body.
  6. Short on time? The average person burns 400 calories in 20 minutes when doing kettlebell exercises. Try these seven kettlebell moves.
  7. Find ways to fit fitness in during your workday to burn some extra calories. Climb the stairs to use the bathroom on a different floor of your office building, take a walk during conference calls, and instead of sitting on a chair, sit on a stability ball or use a standing desk.
  8. Can’t fit in one regular workout? Break it up and squeeze in one of these 10-minute workouts three or four times a day.
  9. Just because you went for a run doesn’t mean you can eat an ice cream sundae and fries afterward. Fuel yourself appropriately, whether it’s with a 150-calorie snack or 400- to 500-calorie meal that’s complete with veggies, fruit, protein, and whole grains.

| Motivation

  1. Get everything ready the night before, including your outfit, headphones, gym bag, and yoga mat u2014 whatever you need.
  2. On Sunday night, plan out the week’s workouts. Make fitness dates, find the yoga class that fits your schedule, and print out a new strength-training workout. Once they’re planned out, write them down to make them official appointments you cannot skip.
  3. Keep a fitness journal or calendar, and write down every workout you do, so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. Or if you’ve been skipping workouts, seeing blank pages will help motivate you to get back on the fitness train.
  4. Make a morning motivation jar to inspire a little fitness when you hop out of bed.
  5. Pay for gym memberships or personal-training sessions ahead of time so you’re more likely to follow through.
  6. Have workout-only music, books on tape, and Netflix shows you watch. If you’re binge-watching last season’s Orange Is the New Black, you’ll be psyched to get back on the treadmill to catch the next episode.
  7. Post your fitness life to social media, whether it’s sweaty workout selfies, gym rants, or a pic of some new gear. Comments from friends and family are sure to encourage you to stay on the fit path.
  8. Write motivational quotes on sticky notes and put them anywhere you need them u2014 on your bathroom mirror, on the fridge, in your car, or on your computer monitor.
  9. Leave workout gear around your house, such as dumbbells by the TV or an unrolled yoga mat on the floor of your bedroom, for in-your-face reminders to fit in a little fitness whenever you can.
  10. Sign up for a race. Having to follow a training schedule will give you the push you need to get in a workout.
  11. Not into racing? Look deep to find a meaningful personal goal that alone will keep you motivated to work out.
  12. Monitor your workouts with a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit), a basic pedometer, or a fitness app (like Nike+). They can help nudge you when you’re on the fence about working out, and they can also push you to work out harder.
  13. Put a dollar in a jar every time you work out and at the end of the month, reward yourself with a healthy surprise.

| Recovery and Injury Prevention

  1. Never stretch before a cardio workout; save it for after when your muscles are warm and pliable.
  2. If you’re short on time, do these stretches during your hot post-workout shower.
  3. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the achy feeling your body experiences 24 to 48 hours after a strenuous workout. You can tell it’s not an injury because you’ll feel it on both sides of the body.
  4. Self-massage your stiff, overtrained muscles by using a foam roller. These exercises are designed for runners.
  5. For aches and pains, it’s important to know when to ice and when to apply heat, so check out this helpful chart.
  6. Prevent common running injuries by strengthening weak areas u2014 glutes, shins, core u2014 with these exercises.
  7. To prevent shin splints on a treadmill, raise the incline to at least one percent u2014 better yet, two.
  8. To prevent plantar fasciitis, do this seated foot stretch.
  9. Rest days are essential for three reasons. They give your body time to repair and get stronger, help prevent injury, and offer you a mental break.

Will 2 Workouts a Day Help Me Lose Weight Faster?

Is there anything exercise can’t do? It helps people lose weight and sleep better| as well as aids in the prevention of colds and disease. And aside from the endorphins it creates to uplift moods and energy levels| hitting the gym can also reduce stress. With all these benefits| it would seem that more is better ¡ª but is that really the case?

To stay healthy| experts recommend about 30 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise five days a week. If you’re trying to lose weight| 50 to 60 minutes a day| five to six times a week is the goal| and we’re talking three days of heart-pumping| calorie-burning cardio| two days of moderate exercise| and one light day.

With that said| it’s not always possible to fit in an hour-long workout just about every day of the week| so doubling up in one day is a great way to balance a tight schedule. When doing two daily workouts| make sure they’re different from one another so you can include a balance of cardio| strength training| and stretching over the course of a day. Go for a run in the morning and take an evening yoga class| or hit up that lunchtime SoulCycle class and do some strength training before dinner. Be conscious of which muscles you’re targeting each time you exercise| because solely working your legs twice in one day could not only cause a muscular imbalance that leads to pain or injury| but you’ll also get bored. And don’t skip those rest days! It’s important to allow your muscles a chance to heal and strengthen.

Of course| if you’re training for a race| tackling a daylong hike or snowshoe| or attending a fitness event| you’ll be exceeding the two hours of exercise two basic workouts would entail. For big fitness bursts like this| pace yourself throughout the day and be mindful of pushing yourself too far. If you’re feeling extremely lethargic| dizzy| nauseous| or painfully sore| stop immediately to rest| and the next time scale down the intensity a bit. If two regular daily workouts is something you’d like to make a habit of| it’s a good idea to stick to 30 to 90 minutes per session| and make one high-intensity cardio and the other lower intensity.

Also keep in mind that exercising twice in one day will cause you to burn more calories| so make sure you’re nourishing yourself with enough protein and healthy carbs. And as long as getting in your two workouts doesn’t have a negative effect on your life or prevent you from getting enough sleep| then there’s nothing wrong with sweating it out twice (as long as you’re OK with taking two showers!).

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Will 2 Workouts a Day Help Me Lose Weight Faster?

Is there anything exercise can’t do? It helps people lose weight and sleep better, as well as aids in the prevention of colds and disease. And aside from the endorphins it creates to uplift moods and energy levels, hitting the gym can also reduce stress. With all these benefits, it would seem that more is better ¡ª but is that really the case?

To stay healthy, experts recommend about 30 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise five days a week. If you’re trying to lose weight, 50 to 60 minutes a day, five to six times a week is the goal, and we’re talking three days of heart-pumping, calorie-burning cardio, two days of moderate exercise, and one light day.

With that said, it’s not always possible to fit in an hour-long workout just about every day of the week, so doubling up in one day is a great way to balance a tight schedule. When doing two daily workouts, make sure they’re different from one another so you can include a balance of cardio, strength training, and stretching over the course of a day. Go for a run in the morning and take an evening yoga class, or hit up that lunchtime SoulCycle class and do some strength training before dinner. Be conscious of which muscles you’re targeting each time you exercise, because solely working your legs twice in one day could not only cause a muscular imbalance that leads to pain or injury, but you’ll also get bored. And don’t skip those rest days! It’s important to allow your muscles a chance to heal and strengthen.

Of course, if you’re training for a race, tackling a daylong hike or snowshoe, or attending a fitness event, you’ll be exceeding the two hours of exercise two basic workouts would entail. For big fitness bursts like this, pace yourself throughout the day and be mindful of pushing yourself too far. If you’re feeling extremely lethargic, dizzy, nauseous, or painfully sore, stop immediately to rest, and the next time scale down the intensity a bit. If two regular daily workouts is something you’d like to make a habit of, it’s a good idea to stick to 30 to 90 minutes per session, and make one high-intensity cardio and the other lower intensity.

Also keep in mind that exercising twice in one day will cause you to burn more calories, so make sure you’re nourishing yourself with enough protein and healthy carbs. And as long as getting in your two workouts doesn’t have a negative effect on your life or prevent you from getting enough sleep, then there’s nothing wrong with sweating it out twice (as long as you’re OK with taking two showers!).

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This 60-Minute Workout Has Everything You Need

If you want to torch calories and tone your tush| running is one of the most effective forms of exercise. The problem is| it leaves your upper body and core high and dry| and if you forget to stretch| you’re left with tight| tense muscles that could suffer an injury that keeps you from lacing up your sneaks. Here’s a 60-minute running workout that includes one-minute strength-training intervals as well as a short stretching session at the end.

Related: Sculpt and Strengthen Your Arms With This 3-Week Challenge

The Workout

0:00-5:00 ¡ª Warmup ¡ª brisk walking

5:00-15:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

15:00-16:00 ¡ª Push-up walks

16:00-21:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

21:00-22:00 ¡ª Plank with arm and leg reach

22:00-27:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

27:00-28:00 ¡ª Mountain climbers

28:00-33:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

33:00-34:00 ¡ª Burpees

34:00-39:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

39:00-40:00 ¡ª Three-point touches

40:00-45:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

45:00-50:00 ¡ª Cooldown ¡ª walking

50:00-60:00 ¡ª Stretch session

The Stretches

Wide-Legged Tipover Tuck

Targets: hamstrings| lower back| chest| and shoulders

Stand with your feet about three to four feet apart. Inhale to interlace your hands behind you| pressing the heels of your palms together in a double fist.As you exhale| fold forward at the hips. Keep your legs straight and press your navel toward your thighs to encourage a straight spine. Fold as deeply as you can| pressing your weight forward into your toes. Hold for 30 seconds.

One-Armed Camel

Targets: quads| abs| and shoulders

Stand on your shins so your knees are underneath your hips.Take a breath in and then exhale to reach your right hand back| placing it on your right heel or the mat behind your right toes. Extend your left arm in the air.Shift your weight forward onto your knees to increase the stretch in your quads| belly| and chest. Lower your head behind you| holding for 30 seconds. Lift the torso up| and then switch sides.

Open Lizard

Targets: hip flexors and hips

Come into a low lunge with the right knee forward| hands resting on the floor underneath your shoulders. Inhale and then exhale as you slowly lower your right knee to the right| resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep the arms straight| pressing your chest forward to increase the stretch in the front of the left thigh.After 30 seconds| switch sides.

Butterfly

Targets: hips and lower back

Sit on the floor| bend both knees| and bring your feet together. Inhale to lengthen the spine| and then exhale to fold forward. Rest your hands on your feet or extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for 30 seconds.

Half Wheel

Targets: quads| abs| chest| shoulders| and neck

Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body| palms facing down. Bend your knees| and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor| and clasp your hands together below your pelvis| extending through your arms. Rock your weight from side to side to bring your shoulder blades closer together. Stay here for 30 seconds.

Seated Spinal Twist

Targets: lower back and chest

Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.Bend your left knee| and place your left heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can. Then bend your right knee and cross your right foot over your left knee. Plant it on the floor so your right ankle is next to your left knee.Reach your right arm behind you| and place your palm on the floor. Then bend your left elbow and cross it over the outer side of your right knee. Keep your elbow bent| or if you can| hold onto your right toes. Keep your right hand on the floor for stability| or bring your right arm around your lower back. Reach for your shirt| or if you can| hook your fingers on the top of your left thigh. Gaze behind you and over your right shoulder.Stay here for 30 seconds. Then release the twist| straighten your legs out in front of you| and do this pose with your left knee pointing up.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This 60-Minute Workout Has Everything You Need

If you want to torch calories and tone your tush, running is one of the most effective forms of exercise. The problem is, it leaves your upper body and core high and dry, and if you forget to stretch, you’re left with tight, tense muscles that could suffer an injury that keeps you from lacing up your sneaks. Here’s a 60-minute running workout that includes one-minute strength-training intervals as well as a short stretching session at the end.

Related: Sculpt and Strengthen Your Arms With This 3-Week Challenge

The Workout

0:00-5:00 ¡ª Warmup ¡ª brisk walking

5:00-15:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

15:00-16:00 ¡ª Push-up walks

16:00-21:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

21:00-22:00 ¡ª Plank with arm and leg reach

22:00-27:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

27:00-28:00 ¡ª Mountain climbers

28:00-33:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

33:00-34:00 ¡ª Burpees

34:00-39:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

39:00-40:00 ¡ª Three-point touches

40:00-45:00 ¡ª Run (fast pace)

45:00-50:00 ¡ª Cooldown ¡ª walking

50:00-60:00 ¡ª Stretch session

The Stretches

Wide-Legged Tipover Tuck

Targets: hamstrings, lower back, chest, and shoulders

Stand with your feet about three to four feet apart. Inhale to interlace your hands behind you, pressing the heels of your palms together in a double fist.As you exhale, fold forward at the hips. Keep your legs straight and press your navel toward your thighs to encourage a straight spine. Fold as deeply as you can, pressing your weight forward into your toes. Hold for 30 seconds.

One-Armed Camel

Targets: quads, abs, and shoulders

Stand on your shins so your knees are underneath your hips.Take a breath in and then exhale to reach your right hand back, placing it on your right heel or the mat behind your right toes. Extend your left arm in the air.Shift your weight forward onto your knees to increase the stretch in your quads, belly, and chest. Lower your head behind you, holding for 30 seconds. Lift the torso up, and then switch sides.

Open Lizard

Targets: hip flexors and hips

Come into a low lunge with the right knee forward, hands resting on the floor underneath your shoulders. Inhale and then exhale as you slowly lower your right knee to the right, resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep the arms straight, pressing your chest forward to increase the stretch in the front of the left thigh.After 30 seconds, switch sides.

Butterfly

Targets: hips and lower back

Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and then exhale to fold forward. Rest your hands on your feet or extend your arms out in front of you.Stay here for 30 seconds.

Half Wheel

Targets: quads, abs, chest, shoulders, and neck

Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, palms facing down. Bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor, and clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Rock your weight from side to side to bring your shoulder blades closer together. Stay here for 30 seconds.

Seated Spinal Twist

Targets: lower back and chest

Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.Bend your left knee, and place your left heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can. Then bend your right knee and cross your right foot over your left knee. Plant it on the floor so your right ankle is next to your left knee.Reach your right arm behind you, and place your palm on the floor. Then bend your left elbow and cross it over the outer side of your right knee. Keep your elbow bent, or if you can, hold onto your right toes. Keep your right hand on the floor for stability, or bring your right arm around your lower back. Reach for your shirt, or if you can, hook your fingers on the top of your left thigh. Gaze behind you and over your right shoulder.Stay here for 30 seconds. Then release the twist, straighten your legs out in front of you, and do this pose with your left knee pointing up.Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

This Elliptical Workout Is Just as Effective as the Treadmill

Sometimes| you head to the gym craving a treadmill run and arrive only to find all the machines full. Bummer! But remember: there are some creative ways to work around this situation. Instead of throwing in the towel and heading straight for the sauna| try this elliptical workout instead. To make this joint-friendly machine feel like running| don’t hold the handles and pump like you do when you’re running. Going hands-free on the elliptical is great for your core| and it might help you work on evening out your stride. We did throw in some reverse action at the end of the workout for your cooldown.

Time Resistance SPM

0:00-2:003Warm up2:00-5:005Warm up5:00-10:007155-16010:00-15:001014015:00-18:00716018:00-21:001015021:00-24:00716024:00-25:001015025:00-26:00814026:00-27:001015027:00-30:00715030:00-35:007-5Backward

My elliptical is set at an incline of 20 degrees. Feel free to play around with the incline level| but keep it at least 10 degrees.

This is also a great cardio workout if your knees have been bothering you while running or you’re coming off a hamstring strain.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart