Do it right: The obvious: "Leaning on the handles can cut your caloric expenditure by 20 percent or more," warns Mike Merk, C.S.C.S., director of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland. So, for a better calorie burn, pump your arms as if you were walking or running briskly. Or you can just turn around. A study in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found that the retrograde version—facing away from the console—burned more calories than the traditional method.
If your goal is to try to lose weight, you might want to consider doing cardiovascular exercises as opposed to weight training. Cardio training is important for burning fat and losing weight, whereas weight training helps to tone and maintain muscle mass. Cardio work that increases the heart rate and breathing is more effective at burning fat than is adding muscle.
Stress plays a huge role in weight gain. But the great thing is that stress can be handled, and Pilates workouts are a great way and proven approach to alleviate it. One study revealed that incorporating just two days of Pilates a week can significantly reduce stress. High cortisol levels can help explain why it’s been hard for you to lose weight. That’s because cortisol is a hormone that is known for causing weight gain and a reason why your body may resist losing weight. It rises when you experience stressful situations and also increases your insulin levels. Higher insulin levels can lower your blood sugar level, which prompts you to crave food that is fatty and often sugary. However, reducing stress can lower these levels and ultimately help you lose weight.
If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, cycling is a great way to start. Hopping on your bike and going for a long, easy ride or doing something shorter and faster both have immense health benefits. But what you eat matters, too, although you don’t necessarily have to forego your favorite foods in order to lose weight. Here are 13 tips that will help you get the ball (er, wheels) rolling.