Working out and staying in shape is an ongoing process. Whether in the gym, outdoors, or at home, being active is a key part of being healthy.  However, there are some steps we can take to get the most out of our workouts and make them more efficient.

Are you basically doing the same workout every time? Our body adjusts to whatever we do continuously, so doing the same cardio and strength workouts becomes less of a challenge and can lead to a plateau over time. Plus,  it can be boring doing the same routine over and over.  Maybe you want to switch things up but don’t know how.  Well, you have come to the right place!  There are so many options that can spice up your workout, which will not only improve your results but also make your workouts more exciting and new. Here are six ways to make your workout more effective.

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    Have A Plan

    Each day you work out you should have a set plan in your head or written down what you will do for that session. This allows you to avoid walking around aimlessly adding more time to your workout. This actually makes your session less efficient since you are letting your heart rate go down. Having a set plan and a backup will give you the chance to have the best possible workout and get you on the right track.

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    Add Strength Training

    If you’ve steered clear of the weight room in the past, now’s the time to get familiar with strength training. Having strong muscles can help prevent injury and help you move better in day-to-day life, whether you’re lifting a moving box or climbing stairs. Although cardio is important, you should never avoid lifting some weights. Adding in weights gives your muscles an extra challenge and allows you to gain muscle and become strong! If you feel like you’ve mastered moves like basic squats and lunges, try holding a set of dumbbells or a medicine ball to make these types of bodyweight moves more challenging and effective. Strength training for general fitness is recommended at least 2-3 times per week.

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    Change The Equipment or Surroundings

    If you always run on a treadmill, try an elliptical machine or row machine. Each one focuses on a different muscle group.  Another option is to try an in-person or online workout class or play a sport.  With summer coming, we can add some water sports, swimming, or kayaking.

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    Connect With Your Muscles

    It can be easy to mindlessly exercise,  but that puts you at a disadvantage. Thinking about the muscles you are working on and training is a great way to make your workouts more effective. Chatting with friends or getting caught up in people-watching can be hard to avoid and causes you to disassociate from your workout. Try as hard as you can to really focus on every muscle to get the best results!

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    Change Up Cardio

    Depending on your goal, guidelines recommend moderate exercise five or more days a week or intense cardio three days a week to improve your health. .If you're a beginner, you might start with a workout of 15 to 20 minutes. If you're doing steady cardio, such as jogging getting on a cardio machine, you might exercise for 30 to 60 minutes. If you're doing interval training and working at a very high intensity, your workout will be shorter, around 20 to 30 minutes.

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    Get FITT

    FITT stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type.  Frequency is how often you exercise. It usually depends on the type of workout you do, your fitness level, and your goals. Intensity has to do with how hard you work during exercise. Time is how long your exercise sessions last. Type is the actual exercise you are doing.  It is important to change up these variables. For instance, maybe you walk 45 minutes one day, lift weights the next, and do a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio workout on the bike for 25 minutes on the third day.

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