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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Four Tips for Revving Up Your Fitness Routine

People find the months leading up to the holidays to be the most difficult time of year to stick to their workout schedules. It starts to get dark early, there are parties to attend, travel plans to arrange…plenty of excuses to keep them out of the gym and slowly creeping into holiday weight gain territory. To help you resist putting on those stubborn extra pounds this fall, here are four easy tips to help you stay motivated to workout through the coming months and beyond.

Put it on your calendar: Just as you wouldn’t ignore your doctor’s prescription for medicine if you were sick, you shouldn’t ignore your prescription for a consistent workout program to stay healthy. Try blocking time off on your calendar for your weekly workouts and think of them as a necessary appointment that you simply cannot miss.

Less is more: If time is truly an issue, select exercises where you get the most bang for your buck. Because total body exercises (such as lunges, squats, dead lifts and pushups) recruit almost every muscle in your body at once, they take less time and burn more calories than less demanding exercises (such as bicep curls) for a fun, time-efficient workout. The same is true for traditional cardio exercises. Instead of spending an hour doing a traditional cardio exercise at a moderate pace, try just 10 minutes of sprinting. With intervals of 30 seconds at a very high intensity followed by 60 seconds at a moderate intensity, sprinting will burn calories and rev up your metabolism without making a large dent in your schedule.

Train with a very specific goal in mind: My clients are most successful with their workout schedules when they have a particular goal in mind. So whether it’s that you’re heading somewhere warm where you’ll have to shed your sweater in favor of a swimsuit or somewhere adventurous where you’ll need to be fit for a long day of surfing or skiing, having a goal in mind will help guarantee that you get to the gym each week, regardless of how busy you might be.

Work your brain: Let’s be honest: if it’s boring, you’re not going to want to do it. Try breathing a little life into your workout with swiss balls and/or bosu balls. Because they require a great amount of concentration and coordination, using swiss/bosu balls will add more neurological demand to your workouts, keeping them fun and engaging.