I need to be honest, the holiday season stresses me out a bit. Starting in November, there seems to be a shortage of time, and one item that often gets pushed to the scheduling periphery is exercise. Unfortunately, my workouts are also my stress-release valve. I learned that in the weeks leading up to the new year, it's not a matter of giving up exercise, but learning how to make gym time more efficient. Here are a few tips to help make your workout effective, while fitting it into your hectic schedule.
- Have a Plan in Hand - After using brain power to strategize your getaway from the office or duties at home, it can be mentally taxing to figure out what to do at the gym. It is most effective to have a concrete plan when working out. I like to create my workout on this fitness journal so I don't just show up with a vague plan to work my arms and my legs.
- Use Multitasking Moves - When strength training, save time and up the ante by using multitasking moves - working multiple body parts is a super timer-saver. Combine your core work and upper body conditioning with the plank combined with reverse row, and work your arms while lunging.
- Intervals - Cardio is a great way to work off steam and burn some calories. Adding intervals to your aerobic workout will help you burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Try our treadmill intervals or speed play for the elliptical - both will burn more calories than a consistently paced moderate workout.
- Work a Circuit - Circuit workouts are designed to build your strength while keeping your heart rate elevated. The combination makes for a great calorie-burning workout. Moves like the step up tone your backside while taxing your cardiovascular system. Pepper your workout with plyometric moves like jumping squats and clapping push-ups to make your gym time do double duty. Here are some circuit workouts to choose from.
- Be Prepared For All Cardio Machines - The treadmill and the elliptical are by far the most popular pieces of equipment in the gym. Rather than waiting around to hop on your fave cardio machine, be prepared to get your heart rate up on often-overlooked, and therefore available, pieces of equipment. Print out our workouts for underused machines so you can hop on and get moving:
- StepMill intervals
- Rowing workout
- Bike intervals
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