Easy Swaps to Change Your Fitness Habits
Do you think you are doing everything you can do to be as fit as possible? Chances are, you don't have as many good fitness habits as you might think! Here are a few changes you can make to your life in order to build those habits that help you get into tip top shape:
Kick Up the Intensity, Shorten the Run Time
Instead of jogging for a solid 45 to 60 minutes a day, turn up the intensity of your workout and cut down on run time. With just 20 minutes of HIIT training, you can burn MORE calories than you would jogging for twice that long.
Skip the Crunches, Do Planks Instead
Crunches are actually one of the least effective abs exercises around, so it's time to stop doing them! Instead, do planks, an exercise that engages your core and forces it to work hard without your having to move. Work up to 60 seconds of plank, and you'll notice the difference in your abs!
Turn Up the Difficulty on the Elliptical
Most people spend 45 minutes doing a slow elliptical workout, but not those who are savvy! A smart exerciser will not only turn up the difficulty, but add a bit of incline as well. Alternating between pedaling forward and backward helps to give your legs a much more complete workout, and will ensure that you can get in a solid training session.
Stop the Static Stretches, Try Dynamic Ones
Dynamic stretches are ideal for those who want to warm up before or cool down after a workout, and you'll find that they're far less likely to lead to injury. Arm swings, running in place, and other dynamic stretches help your body to get used to the movement you will be doing in your workout.
Don't Rush Into It; Warm Up First
Rushing into your workout is one of the silliest things you can do. Not only will it increase your risk of injury, but it will reduce the effectiveness of your workout. Stretching helps to increase muscle growth by 10%, so it's in your best interest to spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up before you work out. Stretching after can also help you to avoid sore muscles.
Stand Up at the Office
Instead of sitting all day long, get yourself a Walkstation--a treadmill with a desk attached to it. You can walk while you work, getting in a great workout without interrupting your day. You'll be able to walk for at least an hour a day, ensuring that you burn a lot more calories without really trying.
Ditch the Machines, Use Free Weights
At the gym, using machines will usually make you lazy with your workout, and you'll find that you use far fewer muscles when you lift with machines. Free weights, on the other hand, recruit a lot of secondary muscles, ensuring that you burn as many calories and build as much overall strength as possible.
Don't Go it Alone, Work with a Trainer
Unless you are a trained fitness professional, you probably have no clue which is the most effective workout for your body type, your current fitness level, and your fitness goals. Don't try to guess the best way to get in shape, ask a trainer for help! Working with a trainer can help you see solid muscle gains!
Take the Stairs
Just walking the stairs a few times a day will do wonders for your leg muscles, not to mention your cardio. The more time you can spend walking the stairs, the better you'll feel at the end of the day!