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10 More Ways to Trick Yourself into Burning Extra Calories

One of the most popular posts I have done in the past is 10 Ways to Trick Yourself into Burning Extra Calories, which has apparently gone viral. So it is past time I expanded the list by adding more!

To summarize the 10 Tricks are:

Drinking Cold Water
Swing Your Arms When Walking
Listen To Music While Exercising
Lift More When Weightlifting
Break Up Your Sets of Exercises
Head Outside
Crank Up The Incline When Jogging, Walking or Running
Log 12 Minutes of Exercise Every Day
Cut Your Workouts in Half, One in the Morning and One in the Afternoon
Warm Up by Jogging in Place

Such a simple list, but simplicity is beautiful.

I think that is why that particular post is so popular. It is full of simple and easy tricks to make yourself burn extra calories.

In keeping with that I have kept the 10 New Tricks to Burn Extra Calories simple and easy to do.

#1. Add Jumping into your Routine - Whether you are jogging, swimming or weight training, adding jumps to your exercise routine boosts your energy output - and burns more calories in brief bursts of motion. Thus jumping rope, jumping over puddles while jogging, or even just adding a little jump into your dance routine this can boost your calorie burn.

#2. Stairs - If jogging gets boring, try running up and down stairs instead. The dramatically steeper incline burns extra calories than jogging up a hill or over a flat surface. Want a bigger challenge? Carry a weighted backpack while going up and down the stairs.

#3. Add Balancing to your Exercises - Standing on one foot while doing bicep curls is harder than doing bicep curls by itself. It forces your legs to do work while your upper body is working too. Remember to alternate legs evenly.

#4. Combine Different Exercises into One Exercise - For example when doing yoga, hold small kettlebells or dumbbells in your hands while performing the exercises. The weight doesn't have to be a lot, but you are basically combining yoga and weightlifting simultaneously into "Weight Yoga".

Note - Obviously for safety reasons you should not mix two exercises that sound dangerous into 1 exercise. eg. Weight lifting while rock climbing = dangerous. Use good judgment.

#5. Alternate Two Different Exercises - Jog Two Minutes, Lift Weights Two Minutes, Jog Two Minutes, Lift Weight Two Minutes. Keep alternating back and forth between an upper body exercise and a lower body exercise and it boosts your strength and endurance.

#6. Keep Moving While Watching TV - Clap for funny things (even though they cannot hear you), tap your feet during music, get up and dance when excited, stay standing or walk around while watching, clean your living room, etc. Basically if you stay active while 'relaxing' you will burn way more calories than simply sitting and watching.

#7. Jog across the Street - When out shopping or doing errands you will sometimes need to walk across the street. Instead of casually walking across, jog across. Only takes 5 to 10 seconds to do, depending on the width of the street, but if you make a habit of it you are burning extra calories.

#8. Don't Go Home until you are Tired - So for example if you are outside walking the dog, if you are not tired of walking the dog (and don't have any pressing business at home) then just keep walking the dog until either you or the dog is tired and wants to go home. This also means you can take the long way home, you can visit places along the way, you can take the hilly route, you can walk by the beach on the way.

#9. Put on Music and Dance while Cooking - It helps you build an appetite (a good appetite is good for digestion, and good digestion means you use more energy and store less of it). Plus the physical act of dancing burns calories.

#10. Make Excuses to Clean + Clean It NOW - Find reasons why you need to clean (eg. company is coming over), schedule time to clean, and if something is dirty and know it is dirty you should probably clean it NOW instead of doing later. Put on some music, watch a TV show while you clean, steam some veggies while you clean. Cleaning your home burns calories, and while it is just going to get dirty again later the good news is that a lack of clutter improves the Feng Shui of your home - and good Feng Shui creates a mental mood in the inhabitants that makes them want to exercise and be more active.


Get rid of your drapes and blinds. Let in more sunlight to your home and the extra Vitamin D in your body helps to burn more calories. Plus the sunlight and sight of the great outdoors will encourage you to go outside and exercise more.

Want more tricks for how to burn extra calories? Leave some comments, show your support, subscribe and I will do my best to add more in the future. :)

Six Star Creatine as a Weightlifting Supplement

For those of you who don't know Creatine is a chemical found in red meat that boosts muscle growth and regulates energy distribution to muscle tissue (and also other body parts). Creatine intake is good for your muscles, heart, brain and more - but it is primarily used by people who are into weightlifting and bodybuilding.

I recently purchased a new packaged of Creatine to aid me during my Winter weightlifting regimen. This is for my personal use, not for clients.

Normally I use Sportzone creatine monohydrate powder, but when I saw the Six Star package [shown right] last Friday at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Little Italy I decided I would give it a try.

The Six Star creatine 'fruit punch' powder comes with added colour, sugar, fruit punch flavour, etc to make it taste better. It tastes like fruit punch kool-aid, remarkably so.

The Sportzone creatine monohydrate powder is quite normal in comparison. It is just a white powder that you mix with water or tea and drink. It has no added sugar or flavouring.

The thing that bothers me about the Six Star creatine is that it is 200 calories per scoop. That shows you just how much sugar they added to the mixture. To put that in perspective a 710 mL bottle of Coca-Cola has 320 calories (don't get confused by the Coke label saying it has 160 calories for 355 mL, they have cut the measurement in half in an effort to trick people into thinking it is healthier than it really is).

200 calories is still a lot however. It is 10% of your daily needs, hence why I have decided to use half-scoops so it is only 100 calories (5% of my daily needs). The slight sugar rush will just give me more energy while I am exercising.

I would also argue that I probably don't need a full dosage of Creatine. Each full scoop contains 5010 mg of creatine and while 5 g (5000 mg) is a normal full dosage for Sportzone, I don't use the full dosage on that stuff either.

It is my opinion that these supplements are just that: Supplements. Taking a full dosage isn't a necessity when supplementing your regular diet. If you are already eating your fair amount of red meat you may not need to supplement your Creatine intake, or you may only need a small amount to supplement your intake.

Thus for myself I have chosen to use half dosages of Creatine for my personal use, supplementing my intake as I see fit. Plus since the Six Star creatine has all that added sugar, it makes a bit of sense that maybe I should not be drinking the stuff like a hog at the trough.

I will continue to use the Six Star Creatine, but it is my opinion that after I finish the above package that I will probably go back to using the Sportzone creatine and mixing it with regular water or tea. I find green tea goes quite well with it.

Am I too fat to do archery? + Cycling for Overweight People



I live near the Toronto Archery Range and I am thinking about getting into archery. I am close enough to bicycle there so I figured if I bicycled to the archery range it would be a good way to lose weight.

However I do have two questions I need help with:

1. I weigh 380 lbs (it fluctuates, but that is my current weight). I worry that my weight will impede my ability to do archery. Full disclosure, I have what some people might call 'a generous chest area' and while I know that is normal for a man my size, I do worry it will make it difficult for me to do archery. Do you have any advice concerning this? Am I too fat to do archery?

2. I find riding a bicycle painful on my posterior (if you know what I mean). How can I alleviate this so the seat isn't so painful?

Name Withheld for Privacy Reasons"


Part One!

No, you're not too fat. I maintain that anyone can learn to do archery - and learn to do it well with continued practice. While it is true physical fitness certainly helps, that is not the deciding factor in the matter.

Many women (and a few men) have very generous chest areas, but this doesn't mean they cannot do archery. Many beginners (not just people who are amply proportioned) encounter problems with string contact on the chest when they are at full draw because they have a tendency to lean away from the bow as they pull back on it.

Leaning back away from the bow changes the angle of the torso so the chest area ends up making contact with the bow string. Standing up straight - or deliberately leaning into the shot - changes the angle dramatically and the chances of string contact are dramatically reduced.

For some women with ample bra sizes they find that string contact is dramatically reduced when wearing a sports bra.

However for men having a sports bra isn't normally an option... But if you Google that topic, you will discover there are male chest girdles designed to compact the chest area and flatten it out - so that does exist.

I found several chest compression vests on that might work for some people, but according to the descriptions they are often designed for men who weigh specific amounts. I am certain there are products out there however that are designed for men in your weight category.

Archery chest guards are designed to flatten one side of your chest, but mostly in an effort to keep excess fabric from clothing rubbing against the bow string. They aren't designed like a sports bra is in an effort to flatten everything and keep it firmly in place.

As you can see above the bow string isn't rubbing against her chest area, but it probably wouldn't be rubbing against her anyway because her posture is nice and upright (no leaning away from the bow). She is wearing a chest protector, but that is mostly because she is conscious of the fact any loose clothing might interfere with the bow string.

So before you rush out to purchase a chest compression vest or a chest guard I recommend you first learn how to shoot and stand up straight while shooting. There is no need to run out and buy a vintage men's girdle that looks like it is something out of the 1800s.

Have a friend take photos of you while shooting so you know for certain you aren't leaning back away from the bow and changing the angle of your torso.

Then if you determine that you are still having difficulties, then you can look into purchasing a compression vest to help flatten out part of your chest.


Part Two!

You are not alone with the uncomfortable bicycle seat problem. Many elderly people also find modern bicycle seats to be too uncomfortable (and some religious orthodox people feel that are too scandalous).

There is a solution however: Broader seats, ergonomic seats, and even gel filled seats with shocks under them. Prices vary, but here are some examples of different bicycle seats below.

 Another thing you should do is make sure the angle of the bicycle seat (after it is installed) is level. Sometimes people find their seats are uncomfortable because the seat itself is on a forward or backward angle, and this in turn hurts both their posterior (as you put it) and your lower back muscles.

Winter Archery Lessons in Toronto

This winter has been very mild so far, which brings me to the topic of Winter Archery Lessons.

Normally the Winters in Toronto are annoyingly cold, windy and if it is not snowing or freezing cold, it is windy or freezing rain.

But so far this 2014/2015 Winter has been extremely mild. I have been, on rare occasions, teaching archery despite the colder temperatures.

Thus if you live in Toronto and you are looking for archery lessons outside, take a look at the 14 day forecast and pick a day that is warmer and not snowing/windy. Once you found a suitable day contact me at and ask if I am available for that day.

New Winter Archery Logo
If I am available (I might not be) and the weather looks agreeable, I will likely agree to teach a lesson.

Please be advised that I use my weekend/evening rates for ALL Winter archery lessons, regardless of what day of the week or time of day it is. Also please be advised that I only teach during daylight hours. Thus the start time of any lesson has to be approx. 90 minutes or more before sunset. See Sunrise and Sunset Times in Toronto so you have an accurate idea of when the sun sets on a particular day.

Last Winter I did teach 1 student who wanted to get into bowhunting. Below is a photo from her first day of shooting, she was hitting the yellow by the 3rd round. She had never even touched a bow before that day. She was so pleased we just had to take a photo to commemorate her first bullseye. (Judging by the damage on that target, a lot of my students get bullseyes.)

Happy New Years from Cardio Trek / New Years Resolutions

Starting a new year is a great time to make New Years Resolutions - assuming you keep them.

Common New Years Resolutions are:

1. Go on a diet to lose weight. eg. Set a goal of losing 10 lbs in 40 days, or 90 lbs in 1 year.

2. Exercise more. eg. Weekly, twice weekly, daily, twice daily.

3. Eat more healthy food. eg. Eat more veggies.

4. Try a new sport. eg. I am planning to do a lot of snowshoeing this winter.

5. Cut out junk food from your diet. eg. No more sugary treats or sugary soda pop.

6. Go to the gym more often. eg. Weekly, twice weekly, daily, twice daily.

7. Hire a nutritionist to help you lose weight. eg. I can recommend a vegan expert if you are thinking of going in that direction.

8. Hire a personal trainer to help you lose weight / gain muscle. eg. If you live in the Leaside area of Toronto, you could hire me.

9. Learn more healthy recipes. eg. Check out the recipes on

10. Watch less TV and go walk the dog more often. eg. Take the dog to High Park, Toronto Island or E.T. Seton Park.

11. Donate all of your junk food to charity or to relatives and then do #3 above. eg. Your cousin who is in college could probably get rid of it pretty quickly.

12. Set aside 1 day every week to go exercise with friends or family. eg. Find a friend or family member who wants to try a new sport and then do it together.

Want more ideas for New Years Resolutions you could make? Read some of the following posts from previous years:

12 Exercise New Years Resolutions

12 New Years Resolutions for the Health Conscious!

New Years Resolutions for 2013

13 Diet and Exercise Resolutions for 2013

13 New Years Resolutions for a Beach Perfect Body

Fitness Trends for 2013

Have you given up on your New Years Resolutions yet?

12 Valentines Resolutions

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