Exercising at home requires self-discipline, but very little equipment. You can burn the same number of calories doing cardiovascular and strengthening exercises at home that you would at a gym. Certain workouts burn more calories, while adding challenges to moderate workouts can make them more intense. Once you see what's possible for home exercise, you'll never miss a workout again.
The fastest way to burn the most calories with a home workout is by doing vigorous cardiovascular exercise. Activities like running and jumping rope can burn more than 1,000 calories per hour depending upon your current weight and your fitness level. Climbing stairs at home will burn a lot of calories, while sprinting up them will burn even more. Just use caution.
Vigorous calisthenics, such as mountain climbers and burpees can burn 700 calories an hour. Skipping in place and doing jumping jacks are other calorie-torching options. If you have a bike, you can set it on a stationary trainer stand and burn up to 600 calories in an hour. If you have a treadmill at home, set it on an incline for all or part of your workout and you'll burn more calories.
As you get more fit you become more efficient at your workout, burning fewer calories. Keep up your challenge level by doing interval training. More strenuous than steady state cardio, interval training involves doing a cardio activity at a high intensity for a brief period of time followed by a period of recovery at a slower pace. These sharp increases in heart rate allow you you to burn more calories in less time and they cause adaptations in your physiology that enable your body to oxidate fat stores more readily.
No matter what home workout regimen you have, you can make it an interval workout by incorporating short bursts of intense speed. If you run on a treadmill, sprint at top speed for 1 minute, then recover for 2 minutes at a jog or fast walk. Repeat the interval five times. You can do the same workout with a jump rope, trying to get as many rope revolutions as you can in one minute, then marching in place for 2 minutes. Repeat five times. Be sure to warm up and cool down before and after your workout.
Pumping iron does not burn the same number of calories as cardiovascular exercise while you're doing it; however it's an important part of burning fat. Doing resistance exercises regularly builds lean muscle mass. Your body works harder to feed the muscle mass, raising your basal metabolic rate and burning more calories in the course of your day.
Invest in a set of free weights or an inexpensive set of resistance bands. Get creative with items in your home. Do triceps dips from the coffee table or a series of lunges across the living room holding heavy jugs of water or laundry detergent. Pushups come in all different varieties from easy to very challenging. Pull up bars are inexpensive and easy to install. Build core strength by doing abdominal crunches.
Maximize your time and get a cardio and strength workout in one by setting up a series of exercise stations. Warm up by jogging or marching in place, lifting your knees high. After five minutes, hit the floor for pushups or the kids' swing set for pull ups. Raise your heart rate with some calisthenics such as jumping jacks and burpees.
Pick up some soup cans or hand weights and do some deep squats while lifting the weight overhead. Jump rope or do some explosive leg plyometrics by squatting down, then jumping up. Cool down with some yoga poses, remembering to breathe deeply. The faster your pace and the less you rest between stations on your circuit, the more calories you burn.