Are You Making the Most of Your Eercise Time?
Are you taking the time to exercise? If you are, then good on you! You are already miles ahead of many Australians who don’t. But are you getting the most out of the time you spend sweating it out? It is very easy to get stuck in an exercise rut. As creatures of habit, we get comfortable with a particular gym routine, a regular exercise class or a familiar walking/running course. We get so comfortable that we forget that our exercise time is our body’s time to push itself, improve its fitness and strength and improve its overall health. So how can you be sure you are making the most of those precious exercise hours?
Change it Up
Doing the same exercise every session can actually do you more harm than good. Whether it is the same gym routine, the same yoga DVD, the same run or even the same sport, you are continually using the same muscles over and over again. This means that your fitness is unlikely to improve and you are more likely to do an injury due to an overused muscle. You are also less likely to achieve your goals such as weight loss and more likely to become bored and give the exercise up all together. The key here is to keep it interesting for your mind and your body. Involve all your muscle groups and keep your cardiovascular system guessing. Invest in a personal trainer who can give you some varying gym routines, try a new exercise class each week, change your walking/running course or involve yourself in a variety of local sports. Your heart and muscles will thank you and your mind will enjoy the variety.
Be All In
Make exercise time all about the exercise. If you intend to put in one hour of exercise, then be physically and mentally focused for every minute of that hour. Your exercise hour does not start in the gym change room, in the car on the way there or whilst you are getting your water bottle and towel ready at home. It starts when you start moving!
Lift Your Weight, or Someone Else’s
If your exercise routine is based 100% on cardio training, such as walking, running or cycling then you are not getting the most out of your exercise time. Strength training has amazing benefits for the body such as:
Helps to reduce bone loss that naturally occurs with aging.
Helps prevent muscle imbalances that may occur with incorrect cardio technique, genetics and aging.
Helps increase muscle endurance and thus increase cardio performance and overall fitness.
Helps prevent muscle injury and promotes injury rehabilitation due to stronger muscles.
Can increase weight loss by increasing muscle mass and increasing metabolism.
Weight training does not have to mean bench pressing, squatting bars or even entering the male dominated free weights area at the gym. In fact, you don’t even need to enter a gym in the first place. Gyms offer a number of machines designed to target particular muscle groups and are easy to use. Other weighted exercise objects include small free weights, medicine balls, kettle bells and Thero- Bands, all of which can be found in gyms or can be cheaply purchased for use at home. If you like exercise classes, there are weight based classes such as Body Pump or gym circuit training. Yoga and Pilates are also strength based workouts that involve lifting ones own body weight. Remember to maintain proper technique and to challenge the muscles. Invest in getting a personal trainer, physiotherapist or exercise therapist to show you how to lift correctly. Doing ten straight push-ups every day for four weeks will mean that by the end of the month you can only do ten straight push-ups. The muscles of the human body are experts at adapting to external pressure, so constantly challenge them to adapt to greater levels.
Take Time Out
Taking time out to relax, recover from an illness/ injury or just to re-group will not dramatically affect your fitness level, your weight or your status in the exercise world. If an exercise schedule becomes too demanding, it will lose the enjoyment factor. Take a week or two off to work out what it is that will re-spark your desire to exercise. Re-asses your exercise routine and schedule. If it’s too demanding, take it down a notch and add in some relaxation time. If it was not demanding enough, to the point it became boring and ineffectual, look for some new and interesting way to push yourself.
Added to site on : Monday, 31 March 2014