You’ll see your stubborn fat start to disappear when you try these simple workouts for even just five minutes a day. Here are exercises you can squeeze into your daily schedule, so you can squeeze into your favorite jeans:
If you have 5 minutes
1. Jump rope
Jumping rope burns about 10 calories a minute. That means you’ll burn about 350 calories a week if you do this five-minute activity daily. And that’s just from setting aside a little bit of time each day! In addition to helping you drop some pounds, jumping rope also strengthens your legs.
While stretching is not the most efficient way to burn fat, it can help you burn a few calories throughout the day. You don’t even have to go out of your way to burn fat; you can do it at your desk.
Reach your arms up and hold them together as shown in the picture above. Hold this pose for five seconds and repeat. This time, tilt your body to the right and left as far as it is comfortable for you. Hold each pose for five seconds.
3. Lift dumbbells
Strength training can help you burn fat, according to Health reports. And lifting them slowly increases your strength by 50 percent compared to normal speed. In fact, this exercise uses more muscle fibers than the machines at the gym, according to Gregory Haff, Ph.D. If you don’t have dumbbells on hand, swap it for a bag of potatoes, canned food or milk jugs. Click here for more household items you can use to workout.
If you have 30 minutes
Cycling is a low-intensity, high-impact way to burn fat, according to David Robson, bodybuilder and personal trainer. Cycling burns 600 calories per hour, but the exact amount depends on how much effort you put in and whether you cycle indoors or outdoors. Biking outdoors will raise your heart rate higher and exercises more muscles than a stationary bike, but you have to work hard for it to pay off. If you’re a recreational rider, experts suggest a stationary bike.
Make biking fun by combining exercise time and playtime. Get your kid’s trike out of the garage, hop on a bike and ride alongside them.
Running burns about 600 calories an hour. So if you only have 30 minutes to carve out of your day, take a quick run. If you find yourself out of breath, take a break and walk. Avoid putting your body on autopilot! Varying your intensity helps you burn even more calories. If you do the same workout every day, your body will eventually get so used to it that you will burn less calories. That’s why many people hit weight plateaus.
To get the most out of your run, switch things up. “It’s best to mix and match short, medium, and long intervals to keep your body guessing,” said Wayne Westcott, Ph.D.
If you have an hour or more
6. Balance low and high-intensity workouts
Combine high and low-intensity workouts to burn the most fat. This works because the two exercises work together to burn fat in different and complementary ways, according to Matt Fitzgerald, fitness coach and certified sports nutritionist. A low-intensity exercise uses 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, so you can continue this workout for longer amounts of time and build endurance. A high-intensity exercise requires 100 percent effort through quick bursts of exercise moves, usually broken up with short breaks. Here are a few exercises you can mix and match:
You burn about 530 calories an hour just by hiking. “When you hike, you hit your body from lots of different angles and engage muscle groups you may miss at the gym…” said Steve Silberberg, founder of Fitpacking. Your muscles aren’t the only thing getting a workout. You’re exercising your brain, too. Research shows that walking increases your creativity. So if you’re stuck in a rut, consider going for a hike. And you don’t have to go alone. Turn this exercise into a family activity by packing some lunches and enjoying the afternoon outdoors.
Remember that exercise is half the battle to losing weight. When you combine these exercises with healthy eating, you’ll find yourself dropping those unwanted pounds.