*Courtesy of POPSUGAR Fitness
If you’re finding yourself phoning it in during gym class or on the treadmill, listen up: you’re not going to see results that way. If you want to make sure that you’re burning the most calories, here’s an easy tip to remember from Lucy Activewear ambassador and celebrity Pilates instructor Kit Rich that will help ensure that you’re burning the most calories in class.
The secret to maximal calorie burn? Always engage your abs. It doesn’t just cause you to squeeze a couple more calories out of your workout; it connects you to your workout to help you exercise harder. Activating your core “connects to the part of the brain that releases more endorphins and dopamine,” Kit explains. “So it essentially tells yourself, ‘I love me.'” In other words: contracting your abs releases feel-good endorphins; riding high on those endorphins equals a better mood, which will help you give it your all during your workout.
In addition to focusing on contracting your core, Kit offers another way to make each workout session your best: take breaks from looking into the mirror. While mirrored walls can be an essential tool for checking form, they can also cause you to cast an overly critical eye on your body and lose focus on your workout. The result: you mean to spend those reps ensuring your head stays up but instead drift into a motivation-crushing inner monologue about the state of your thighs. Instead of criticizing your perceived flaws, focus on the words and instructions your teacher is using, Kit says, and you’ll be more connected to your body in no time. “That’s one of the greatest gifts you can have: to be present and not distracted,” she says. And as a bonus, a more effective sweat session as well.
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