Exercise Smarter, Not Harder
Take a creative approach to exercise. Not only is it fun to find innovative ways to shake up your normal routine, but all the body’s systems need to be surprised with diverse patterns of stress in order to continue to improve. Use these simple tips to become more resourceful in your every day activities and watch your body redistribute as you shape up.
Instead of doing the same old route when you're out for your usual walk/run, look for inclines to power up, stairs to hop down and places to throw in 20 jumping jacks. By adding intervals of varying intensity, you are simultaneously building bone, tuning up your cardiovascular system and burning extra calories.
If your program is stale and needs rejuvenating, try something new. Intervals of high intensity work can be adapted to resistance training as well as to cardio activity. Try interspersing one minute of heart-pumping cardio into your strength training exercises. You can use exercises like jumping rope, step-ups or running in place to keep your heart rate elevated.
Use compound movements in your strength training. Combine upper and lower body actions to target 8-10 muscle groups for efficient toning and calorie expenditure. For example, try combining a front lunge with a lat row, a squat with a biceps curl and calf raise, a plie with a shoulder raise. You improve your coordination and core stabilization in addition to getting a full-body workout in a shorter period of time.
Invent time-saving ways to fit exercise into your day-to-day. If life intervenes and you can’t do your normal weight training session, at least do some exercises using your body weight, like push ups, squats, crunches and planks. Do two sets of diagonal push ups after your walk/run, using a railing or back of a park bench for support. Practice balance by standing on one leg while brushing your teeth for two minutes. Sit on a stability ball at your desk to add some core training as the muscles of the trunk work to keep you upright.
Ramp up your daily activities by becoming more creative in how you choose to exercise. As you develop an active lifestyle in your daily routines, your body will thank you by becoming healthier and more energetic. And the changes will be reflected in the way you wear your skinny jeans!
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