Easy Ways to Up Your At-Home Calorie Burn

By Debi Pillarella, M.Ed.

If you think you need an expensive gym membership to get in the best shape of your life, think again. Using your own home not only allows you more flexibility in choosing when and how often you workout, but also provides you with a wealth of low cost options that are effective in burning some serious calories. No matter what type of home workout you choose, keep in mind that to burn more calories, you’ll need to increase your intensity.

Vigorous Cardiovascular Exercise

If you want to get your heart pumping and calories burning, then put on your favorite jams and move to the beat. Since you’re in the privacy of your own home, close the blinds and get ready to boogie. Dancing at a high intensity can burn over 200 calories in 30 minutes. If dancing isn’t your thing, other great cardiovascular activities you can do at home include walking or marching in place, jumping jacks, knee lifts, boxing moves, or jumping rope.

Home Circuit Training

Circuit training can burn nearly 300 calories in a 30-minute workout, depending on the intensity, and you can easily turn your home into a gym by setting up a variety of exercise stations. To begin, warm up with jogging up and down the stairs or marching in place. After five minutes, hit the floor for push-ups, planks, or lunges, or if the weather is warm, feel free to take your workout outdoors. Raise your heart rate with jumping jacks and burpees, or try some explosive lower-body plyometric drills such as forward linear jumps. Another way to add intensity to your circuit is to invest in some portable, inexpensive, versatile pieces of exercise equipment that will enable you to perform a variety of challenging, effective exercises whether indoors or outside. Keep in mind that the faster your pace and the less you rest between stations, the more calories you burn. Be sure to cool-down afterwards with some yoga poses, like cobra and downward-facing dog, remembering to breathe deeply during each exercise.

Video Fitness Mania

The Wii™ and Kinect are not just for your kids to play their video games on. These 21st century devices can help to spice up and supplement your home fitness workouts. These products have everything from sports-related fitness workouts to Zumba. In addition, purchasing workout DVD’s is another waythat technology can be used in the comfort of your home to add more variety and flavor to your existing home workout routine, and help prevent boredom when breaking a sweat.

Interval Workouts

You may have heard that slow and steady wins the race, but not when trying to burn maximum calories. One of the keys to burning oodles of calories at home is to incorporate interval training workouts. Interval training alternates high-intensity exercises with lower-intensity exercise effort. The best part of this type of program is the individuality it provides to the user. In interval training, a lower intensity exercise, like marching in place with low knees, is completed for a designated amount of time (i.e. 3 minutes) followed by one minute of an intense, all out exercise (i.e. running in place with high knees). Interval workouts can burn up to 300 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your intensity.

Housework Counts

Most of us like to get the most bang for our buck, so don’t overlook household chores as another way to burn even more calories at home. Put a little elbow grease into these mundane tasks, and add a dose of cardiovascular exercise, like walking, and you’ve got a well-rounded, calorie busting addition to your home workout program. Here are some estimates (based on a 150 pound person) for what housework can do for you:

If you scrub the bathtub using pushing, pulling, and circular upper body motions, especially on stubborn stains, you can burn up to 200 calories in just 30 minutes. Vacuuming, depending on your intensity, for 30 minutes can rev up your calorie burning engines and find you expending approximately 125 calories. Add some walking lunges and you boost the burn even more. If you’re a multitasker and like doing multiple household chores at one time, you can burn nearly 160 calories with 30 minutes of heavy cleaning, such as washing windows and mopping. Doing squats when taking clothes out of the dryer, followed by gliding across your wet floor with a beach towel under your feet, finishing with carrying the folded clothes up the stairs, two at a time, are just a few examples of ways you can reap the rewards of working out at home.

Debi Pillarella, M.Ed., is an ACE-certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist, as well as the Program Director at Fitness Pointe. She has authored numerous publications on youth and family fitness and writes a regular column, entitled “Fit Family”, for NWI Parenting Magazine. She lives in Munster, Indiana with her husband and two children.

Read Original Article: Easy Ways to Up Your At-Home Calorie Burn »