Short on time? No sweat! We’re here to make sure you get the most out of your workout no matter how busy you are, or where you are for that matter.
In today’s modern world we’re juggling a lot. From high pressure jobs, relationships and kids, phones buzzing every few minutes and the never ending quest for the ‘perfect life’. Self-care is trending – which is great – but how do we find time for it all? It’s becoming increasingly difficult to invest time in ourselves, particularly when it comes to exercise.
RELATED: Our Favourite Online Workouts & Apps
We know that working out boasts a myriad of benefits, to name a few;
- Improved mental health and mood
- Weight control
- Better clarity
- Supports healthy sleep patterns
- Relieves stress and tension
We’re well versed in the benefits but sometimes it’s just not feasible to squeeze it all. But, did you know even as little as 20 minutes of exercise can do wonders for your health and wellbeing? If time isn’t on your side, there are hacks to get more mileage out of your workout and still get the results you’re after.
Check out our five easy steps to ensure every squat, push-up and life counts.
1. Invest in the right gear
Technology has paved the way for some pretty high-tech, snazzy sports gear. Brands are now putting some serious thought and investment into the design and fabrication of their pieces to enhance performance, including moisture-wicking, breathable and temperature-regulating fabrics with maximum comfort being the key objective. Investing in a few well-fitting active wear pieces that are comfortable and good quality will ensure that you can stay focused on your workout, rather than your outfit.
2. Do weights
It’s a common misconception that lifting weights is just for building muscle and cardio is the only way to burn fat. Resistance training builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate. A study carried out by Harvard School of Public Health examined 10,500 adults and found those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).
3. Food is fuel
What you put into your body is as important as the exercises you’re doing. Good nutrition is key to getting the most out of your workout and will give you the energy you need to really maximise the time you have and help get the results you want. Ever tried working on an empty tank? You don’t get the same results and chances are you’ll have a pretty so-so workout. The right proteins, nutrients and goodness is a large contributing factor to a successful session.
4. Music that makes you move
The right beats can make or break a workout. Music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin, which fires you up faster and also assists a faster recovery. Whether its top 20 hits, reggae or 90’s bangers (no judgement!), listening to a few of your favourite tracks before and during a workout will help get your blood pumping quicker.
5. Workout with someone who will push you
Whether it’s a workout with your partner or a personal trainer, having someone to motivate you and push you to your limits is an extremely beneficial way to not only get through a workout, but go above and beyond what you’d normally do if you are on your own. Working out with someone adds an element of fun and competition to your fitness routine, which helps you to stay motivated in both the short and long run. Plus, it always helps to have a friendly face by your side giving you that extra push when you need it!
Find a workout buddy that will challenge you and help you reach new goals / @lesmills
6. Do intervals
There’s a reason HIIT workouts are one of the biggest fitness trends right now – they’re one of the most (if not THE most) effective exercises for burning calories fast. High-intensity interval training involves periods of all-out effort broken up with short, low-intensity “active” breaks. Exercising one minute on and one minute off is proven to come with more cardiovascular and fat-loss benefits than any other workout. So, if you’ve only got 20 minutes to spare pack it full with burpees, squats and lunges and you could burn up to double the amount of calories as you would in a longer workout. Simply perform as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes.
7. Keep hydrated.
The body is made up of about 60 percent water and we lose that through perspiration when working out – up to 10 percent in fact. Water regulates your body temperature and helps the heart to pump blood through the muscles and lubricate joints so you can exercise more efficiently. Water plays and supports many more functions in the body so being hydrated is important day to day but also when exercising, especially if you want to get the most out of your session. Fitness experts recommend you drink plenty of water before a workout, as well as after, to reach your optimum potential.
Don’t forget to keep your fluids up to get more out of your workout / @josephineskriver
8. Use fitness apps or a fitness watch
While technology may have made it near impossible to switch off, one perk is it’s changed the way we workout for the better. An endless stream of gadgets, fitness apps and online workouts enable you to track your personal bests and push you against… yourself. Checking your heart rate, seeing calories burned and monitoring your progress via a fitness accessory is a sure way to increase motivation without even realising and keep tabs on how you’re improving each week or session. Fitness apps are another great way to try new things and expand your fitness knowledge, which can help keep your workouts fresh and exciting.