The top reason for not exercising is not having enough time in the day and a misconception that contributes to that excuse is you have to spend a long time at the gym in order to see results. But you can spend as little as 30 minutes in the fitness club on a consistent basis and stay healthy. But in order to do that you have to maximize how you use your time in the fitness center. Here are five tips to ensure you get the most out of each exercise session.
1- Plan Ahead – Just like you plan for meetings at work, spend a few minutes each day planning for your gym time. Pack your gym bag, your lunch and your outfit the night before. That way in the morning you’re ready to go and have everything you need for a successful workout session. Spend a few minutes before you get to the gym to think about your workout plan. With a plan in mind you’ll be able to move through your session quickly and efficiently. You can keep a notebook with ideas and routines and then take that with you. Focus on your workout session and plan to leave your phone in your locker so you are not distracted with emails, calls or text messages.
2- Try Circuit Training – In just 30 minutes you can burn 300-450 calories by doing circuit training. This type of training has little rest between each exercise and you aim to keep your heart rate elevated. Typically in circuit training, you decrease the weight and increase reps of each exercise. For example, complete one minute of bicep curls, one minute of push-ups, and one minute of burpees with 15 seconds rest in between each exercise. Plan for 8-10 different exercise and repeat that circuit 2-3 times. Stay motivated with upbeat, fast music.
3- Skip Slow Cardio and do Interval Training – Slow, long cardio session are great for maintaining a healthy heart and health lifestyle. But interval training is a much better option. Interval training alternates high-intensity movement with a lower intensity movement. Interval training pushes the body to get out of its comfort zone and by doing that, you burn more calories. One example of a good interval session is walking for 3 minutes, jog for 2 minutes and alternate between those. As your fitness level increases, you’ll notice you’ll be able to go further during the time frames. Interval training can be done with weights too. The possibilities are endless so you’ll never run out of exercise routines.
4- Plan your meals and snacks – Depending on when you hit the gym, you’ll need to plan what and when you’re going to eat. If you are a morning gym-goer make sure you eat a small snack when you first wake up. A half of banana or a piece of toast will be enough to keep you strong through your workout. If your workout happens at lunchtime, eat some of your lunch before and some of it after. Late afternoon gym-goers need a small snack before they go and if you workout in the evening time, make sure you’ve eaten at least 1-2 hours before you go to give your food enough time to digest. You want to stay away from foods that are high in fat since fat takes longer to digest. Simple carbs are easily digestible and will give your body instant energy in your workout session.
5- Avoid making gym time social hour – Part of the gym experience can be the friends you make there but spending time chatting can cut into workout session. If you need to talk to someone, ask if they want to join you warming up on the elliptical or ask if they want to workout with you. Let them know you’d love to chat and catch up but you only have 30 minutes and you want to make the most of your gym time so you’d be happy to call them later. Wearing headphones is also a good way to let people know you’re working out but make sure you smile and wave when you see someone.
Merritt Athletic Clubs has personal trainers, fitness attendants and other staff members that can help you develop a plan or show you some exercises to do to maximize your time in the fitness center. contact us for any assistance that you need while you are in one of our facilities.