You want to take your fitness to the next level but your schedule is jam-packed. Letting your workout routine fall by the wayside isn’t an option. How do you find the time to up your game? Why not try to work out smarter rather than longer? Here are some simple tips to maximize your fitness sessions and ensure that not a minute on that treadmill goes to waste.
Don’t skip the stretch or you may risk injuring yourself. Warming up allows your joints and muscles to loosen up. Especially if you are working out in the early morning – you will need to give your body extra time to adjust to moving around. Before you work out you should use the dynamic stretch technique which is stretching and warming up your muscles with motion. Afterward, you can use static stretching
The Short Run
Keep cardio short and sweet. Unless you are training for a marathon, if you are going over 20 minutes of cardio, you are wasting gym time, according to Muscle & Fitness. You could be putting that workout time to better use. If your goals are to lose weight or tone up, try a high-intensity interval training session. You will burn fat more efficiently and be working your muscles at the same time.
If you want to be super-efficient for a quick lunchtime workout or just get in and out of the gym in no time, multi-joint moves are a good way to multi-task and quicken your workout. Combining squats and lunges with rows and presses with free weights maximizes your workout and your calorie burn while shaving minutes off of your training session.
During your working out, be sure to keep your heart rate up above its normal rate. Even if you have to catch your breath consider taking “active rests” in the form of core exercises, which allow a quick respite but won’t stop you from moving entirely. Don’t milk your rest periods. Limit them to less than a minute each so your heart rate remains elevated and you don’t cool down too much.
Take A Break
Just because you aren’t supposed to take too long in between exercises doesn’t mean you can never rest. No days off is a recipe for disaster. Your body needs the downtime to repair the muscles you are breaking down to make bigger. If you give your body this time to heal, you will see results faster. Think of this as nutrition via relaxation.
Move to the Beat
According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, listening to your favorite tunes makes your workout more enjoyable, puts you in a good mood, and motivates you to work harder and longer. If you are listening to a fun and upbeat playlist, even better. The beat of the music can increase your speed as you are inclined to match the rhythm of the song you are listening to. Also, music acts as a distraction and a buffer from the pain and fatigue. Listening to music releases certain chemicals in the brain which can dull pain and therefore make your workout easier. So let the music play.
Mix it up
If you are like most, you are a creature of comfort. Once you find a routine that works, you repeat it. However, getting comfortable with your circuit training may be keeping you from the body of your dreams. The best way to achieve your goals is to stop your body from getting used to the exercises you are doing. Try alternating between high and low-intensity cardio. Change up what exercises you do or even what form of exercise. If you run, pick a day to try cycling. If you are lifting, try rowing for a change. This way you will keep your body in a constant state of muscle confusion and your body will always be working hard.
Pump It Up
There are many who shy away from weights for fear of bulking up when they are trying to trim down. Building muscle will make your body look toned once the weight is gone. Not only that, but it also maximizes your body’s ability to burn calories after you work out. Consider muscles your own fat burning Energizer Bunny. Even when you are at rest, they keep going and going.
Eating a well-balanced diet is good for your health and well-being, but it can also help you out at the gym too. There are certain foods you can incorporate into your diet that can aid you when working hard at the gym. For instance, try nutrients that fight inflammation like cherries, salmon, berries, broccoli, or turmeric spice. You can take pre-workout supplements to help you maximize your workout and give you more stamina. Slow digesting carbs like oatmeal are also a good way to give your body some extra oomph during a training session. After a workout, it is important to have foods that are high in protein in the form of lean meat, eggs, or a protein shake.
Moist heat, whether it be in the form of a hot tub, a sauna, hot shower or hot compress, can do wonders to soothe sore and achy muscles. Plus, according to Breaking Muscle, muscle mass can increase via heat shock proteins in the muscular cells when exposed to moist heat on a regular basis. In fact, a study showed that growth hormone increased by 16 times when subjects used a sauna for seven days straight. And it feels good, which is a great reward after going hard at the gym.