If it’s your goal to get fit, but you don’t have tons of time to exercise, this shouldn’t be a barrier to entry.
Many PT’s and even the NHS say that you can get fitter with as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day, so here are some top tips to make shorter workouts work for you:
1. Use Your Time Wisely
One of the best ways to save time when it comes to exercising is to use your time wisely and plan your workouts. If you arrive at the gym with no plan, you’ll likely waste time thinking about what to do next, and not only does this waste time, it can reduce the quality of your workout. If you’re unsure where to start, fitness apps like Freeletics (www.freeletics.com) can guide you through a full body workout which is tailored to your individual goals and how long you’re able to spend training. The new Freeletics 15-minute training journey uses bodyweight only, so you won’t waste time waiting for machines either.
2. Minimise Distractions
Undoubtedly the best way to make the most out of a short workout is to minimise distractions and focus on the task at hand. For some this may mean exercising alone with a motivating play list rather than a friend or switching off the notifications on your phone, so you’re not tempted to answer phone calls or reply to texts and emails. Also, try keeping your rest periods short so you’re not tempted to waste time.
3. HIIT It
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT as its better known is the best way to get an effective, quick work out. Interval training is a great way to increase your fitness levels and calorie burn and it’s performed by alternating intense periods of physical activity with short periods of rest so that your body can recover briefly before you up the intensity again. Not only is this style of working out a great time saver, its brilliant for building endurance and boosting the metabolism.
4. Utilise Your Body Weight
Bodyweight Training – such as blanks, squats, burpees or sit-ups, is incredibly effective, and one of the beauties of this style of training is that you don’t need any equipment, meaning you’ll spend less time waiting around to use the machines or the free weights. It’s a versatile way of training, and you don’t even need to be in the gym. If you’re really pushed for time you can get a quick, effective full body workout wherever you are, and whenever works best for you.
5. Give Yourself A Time Limit
Setting yourself a time limit is a great way to maximise the time you spend in the gym ensuring that you make every second count. If you find that your workouts are taking too long, set a timer and race against the clock, this will make your workouts faster and more efficient.
6. Ace Your Warmup
Warming up before exercising is very important as it helps to prevent injury and prepare your body for the workout ahead. A proper warm up should last between five to ten minutes, but there are clever ways to speed this up and save time. Start by foam rolling – is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage, that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue for two-three minutes followed by a quick, dynamic warm up series of mountain climbers, jumping jacks, arm and leg lifts, and hip raises.
7. Embrace Supersets
They may sound scary but super sets are a great way to save time and get an effective workout. In simple terms, a super set is when you do two different exercises back to back without taking a break. Shortening the rest period will also increase the intensity of your workout and doing more movements in a shorter space of time will equate to increased energy expenditure, upping your calorie burn.
8. Make a Back-Up Plan
There are never any guarantees that the equipment you want to use will be free, so in addition to your planned workout, it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan that you can turn to if the equipment you want to use is busy. For example, if you’re planning to use the bench press and it’s busy, you could try even weighted push ups. Or if the stair masters are a no go you could try doing steps ups. You could even substitute the treadmill for the cross trainer and vice versa as they offer a similar body mechanical movement.
About the Author
David Wiener is a level 3 REPs registered and certified personal trainer, and qualified advanced nutritionist who has worked in the health and fitness industry for years.
He has worked extensively with popular sports personalities and celebrities, and has also featured in the media, providing expert comment, tips and advice.
David’s approach to training focuses on both the physical and mental aspects of exercise, working closely with clients to ensure they reach their goals, as well as analysing and improving a client’s nutrition and mind set for optimum, sustainable and long term results.
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