Making Quicker yet More Effective Workouts

effective exerciseWith more studies being published about fitness, more long-held myths about exercising are being shattered as more effective methods of working out are being revealed. For instance, we have heard about this sound advice about exercising for longer hours in order to see optimum results in our body. However, as several experts have found out, shorter yet higher-intensity workouts called Interval Training can do more wonders for your body.

An example of interval training is to take a twice-a-week, 20-minute jog that includes five exhausting sprints lasting for about 30 seconds each. This is a vast comparison to the usual daily, hour-long cardio workouts you are supposed to do in order to lose weight. This comes as a welcome note for everyone who has claimed that "they cannot find time to exercise." With interval training, that alibi is no longer acceptable. Here are some ways to get you started.

Plan ahead

When coming to the gym, do not spend a minute or two thinking what workout you are going to do. You need to have a plan in mind before taking any workout. If you are training for a marathon, for instance, focus on your endurance such as long-distance running.

Skip stretching at the beginning of your workout

Various studies revealed that stretching before working out does not reduce post-workout muscle soreness, and it also does not prevent injuries. Those 15 minutes you should have spent in stretching would be more beneficial if you go lifting weights or do a cardio exercise. You can, however, do your stretching after your workout. Meanwhile, if you have been very inactive and are taking an exercise routine, you may have to stretch before exercising.

Warm-up progressively

Just because you have skipped the stretching does not mean you would have to skip the warm-up as well. The best way to start your workout is to go slow at first such as marching in place or moving side-to-side, and then gradually progressing to a higher-intensity routine like jumping or quick jogging in place. Perform your warm-up for about 10 minutes.

Alternate your intensity

Health officials recommend taking either 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise for most days of the week or 20 minutes of more intensive exercise three times a week, plus strength training twice a week. You may alternate the intensity of your workout in between days, or even in between workouts. This force your body to adapt to different conditions, which brings added benefits that exercising at a steady pace cannot provide, and can even boost your metabolism more.

Do not wait around

If certain gym equipment is occupied, it would be better if you look for another equipment to work out on. Waiting for your fellow gym rat to finish his set only loses your body’s momentum. If you are unfamiliar with other equipment, ask your trainer for help. It is also appropriate to ask the guy occupying a gym equipment how many more sets he has to finish.

Low-end equipment may work better

If all the gym equipment is fully booked with people eagerly waiting for their turn, it is best to find yourself a corner of the gym and simply use free weights and your own body weight for your workout. Doing a squat, for instance, while lifting a pair of 10-pound dumbbells is better than just using a leg extension machine. It is also better to make moves that use more than one joint or muscle group, like a squat that immediately turns into shoulder press as you lift your dumbbells high into the air.

Mix aerobic and strength training

Combining the two different workouts, called "circuit training," lets you knock out two things at once. It is best to let the trainer do the planning for you.

Do not skip the cool-down

Like the warm-up, skipping the cooling-down process could only do you more harm. After your workout, make slower movements that you may also want to couple with deep breathing exercises. Try giving yourself a few stretches as well.


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