4 Tips for a more effective workout

workout tips

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.


Fitness Friday: Speed Up Your Workouts and Save Time

Fitness Friday

The most popular excuses for skipping a workout seem to be “I’m too busy” or “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” The school year is starting soon, and time will soon come at an even higher premium for parents.

But when it comes to your health, it’s essential to make the time to move every day. If you’ve been eyeing the scale, there’s no better time than now to make a lifestyle change.

“The best way to lose weight and stay healthy is to practice good nutrition and daily aerobic exercise for one hour every day,” Dr. Dirk advises.

Here are some ways to speed up your workout so you can get back to your life.

Try something new. If you’re at the gym and need a cardio machine that’s being used, try a different machine rather than waiting around. Using a new machine will still ensure you’ll get your aerobic exercise in, but it may also challenge new muscle groups — a win-win!

Plan ahead. Make a plan and know exactly what exercises you’ll be doing before you start your workout. Visualizing which machines or weights you’ll need is a great way to save time between exercises.

Keep your head down. Don’t make small talk with other gym-goers. While it can be fun to make to make new friends, if you’re in a hurry and health is your goal, keep your headphones in and your mind and body focused on the workout.

Build your playlist first. When you don’t have to scroll through songs, you’ll wind up shaving minutes off your workout time. Plus, setting up your playlist can get you more excited about your future workout!

Don’t check your phone. Pausing to respond to text messages or check tomorrow’s weather can add up and prolong your workout. Try turning off your phone or turning it on airplane mode before you hit the gym.

No matter what, be sure to get that aerobic exercise in every day. It’s the only way to curb diabetes, obesity and all of the other health problems that come with being overweight. If you’re getting your hour in every day and not seeing the results you need, it may be time to get started with Dr. Dirk.