Here are six tips to streamline your trip to the gym without sacrificing your workout.
Before going to the gym, make sure you are fully prepared for your visit. Untangle your headphones, create a playlist at home, fill your water bottle… all of these things add up and waste precious gym time, so make sure you're ready to go as soon as you step onto the gym floor.
Do something you enjoy
Exercise can seem like a chore if it's something you don't enjoy, so find an activity that helps you burn calories while boosting your mood and relieving stress at the same time. After a frustrating day, for example, try a yoga class to find your happy place while strengthening and stretching your muscles.
Avoid peak hours
If possible, schedule your workouts around peak hours when other gym goers are also trying to fit in their workouts. That way, you have your choice of exercise equipment and avoid waiting for your favorite machine.
Utilize high-intensity intervals
Even though you might want to minimize the time you spend at the gym, you can still maximize your workout with some high-intensity intervals, which burn some serious calories. Try alternating one minute of high-intensity activity with two minutes of steady-paced exercise. For example, try sprinting intervals during your treadmill workout or adding bursts of plyometrics to your strength training routine.
Multitask your muscles
Another way to maximize your calorie burn is by performing multiple moves that work several muscles at once. For instance, do crunches on a stability ball to engage your entire core as well as your arms and legs. The more muscles you can work at once, the less time you'll spend at the gym.
Create a shower strategy
If you shower at the gym after your workout, create a game plan to get you in and out of the locker room–fast. If you take a group exercise class, bring your towel and flip flops to class with you, so you can make a beeline for the showers once class is over. You'll avoid stopping by your locker and waiting in line. Additionally, hang your undergarments on a hook in your locker, so you don't end up fumbling around looking for them in your gym bag.
Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.
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