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Are you looking for ways to burn more fat and calories when you walk, swim, or run? Take a break from your workout.

If this sounds counterproductive consider this: Recent studies have shown that the rate at which your body burns fuel may be boosted even higher if you break up a long cardio session into two back-to-back 30-minute sessions with a 20-minute break in between. A group of men in one of those studies did just that, in between 30-minute sessions on a stationary bike. The study results showed elevated blood levels of free fatty acids — higher blood levels than those produced during a single 60-minute cycling session. That increase in free fatty acids is a sign of increased fat burning. Circulating blood levels of free fatty acids go up when your body starts to break down fat.

You can also boost the fat- and calorie-burning powers of your power workouts by doing a cardiovascular exercise before strength training. Doing cardio first can help you exercise longer, and thus burn more calories, than you would if you were tired out by weight training first. But if you are concerned about increasing strength, then the weight training should precede the cardio session. And finishing your workout with weights helps boost post-workout metabolism — the rate at which your body burns calories after you’re done. The result may be an overall better calorie burn. But check with your doctor first, before embarking on any exercise program or attempting to vary the one he or she may have originally approved for you.