Regular physical activity is crucial to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Dirk recommends daily exercise to burn calories and strengthen your muscles and heart.
There are as many different fitness routines as there are gym-goers. How do you know how to get the most out of your workout? Here are some tips to make your workouts as effective as possible.
Build up to more intense workouts
If the goal of your workouts is to shed pounds, build muscle strength and boost cardiovascular endurance, aim to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Short, high-intensity workouts can deliver the same or better results than longer, less intense workouts.
Interval training is a great way to implement high-intensity workouts. Instead of slowly performing an exercise, then taking a 5 to 10-minute break to chit-chat or check social media, alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises for 20 or 30 minutes.
Research shows that high-intensity interval workouts are vastly more effective at cutting fat and decreasing weight than steady state cardio. 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training leads to more weight loss than 40 minutes of steady-intensity exercise.
Focus on form
Before you ramp up the intensity, though, make sure you have great form. When exercising, you may feel motivated to add on the weights or go harder and faster.
But exercise form is the foundation of your workouts. Without good form, you won’t get the full benefits of an exercise, and worse, you’ll risk injuring yourself.
In general, align your body correctly and move smoothly through each exercise. Always be in control of your weights — don’t swing or jerk them around. Concentrate on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled relaxing movements.
Perform exercises that pack a greater punch
Certain exercises are more effective than others. Why spend time and effort on less effective workouts when you can get more bang for your buck with others?
Some of these great all-around exercises include swimming, tai chi, strength training and walking.
Swimming takes the strain off your joints while delivering a strong calorie-burning, toning and cardiovascular health boosting workout. Tai chi focuses on physical movement coupled with mental focus and helps reduce stress.
Strength training is less about bulking up than it is about keeping your muscles in good working form. Plus, strength training allows helps you better manage your weight, since the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn.
Finally, walking is a simple, free and beneficial for everything from keeping your cholesterol low, strengthening your bones, maintaining a good blood pressure, keeping you in high spirits and lowering your risk for several diseases.
Listen to music
Research shows that listening to music while exercising actually has a range of positive benefits, enabling a more effective workout.
Listening to music can distract you from fatigue, elevate your mood, increase your endurance and may even promote metabolic efficiency.
Regular physical activity is part of healthy living. There are no shortcuts, but you can implement these effective ways to exercise to get the most out of your time and effort.