There are a variety of reasons why people exercise — to stabilize their mood or train for an event — but the majority of people who work out do it for two simple reasons: to burn fat and to get stronger.
Both can be a huge challenge, however, because it takes a fair amount of time and effort to accomplish either goal. For some people, there simply isn't enough time in the day to work up the sweat and work out the muscles necessary to achieve the results they're hoping for.
If this is something you grapple with, there are a few things that you can do to maximize the effect of every second of your workout. And even if you have all the time in the world for exercise, these tips will help you get the most out of each session.
Weights Before Cardio
A lot of people like to get their cardio out of the way before they move on to the weights. Some people say that it helps get them "in the zone" for the rest of their workout.
According to studies performed by the University of Tokyo, however, doing your cardio after weight training burns significantly more fat. This is because in order to burn fat, your body has to get through all of the glycogen that it usually would use as fuel during a workout. When you train with weights first, you burn off the vast majority of your glycogen stores.
Run Uphill or on Uneven Surfaces, with Weights if Possible.
When you run uphill or on an uneven surface such as cobblestones or along an outdoor trail, it takes much more energy for your body to work. Also, the heavier you are, the more calories you burn during a run.
By running uphill or on an uneven track while carrying weights, you greatly increase the rate at which you burn fat.
Use Workouts that Exercise Multiple Muscles
All too often, people do a great job of working out their arms, but they neglect the rest of their bodies. Not only does it mean that the other parts of their bodies aren't getting stronger—it can actually lead to injury of weaker muscles while working out your arms.
Multi-joint movements, also known as compound exercises, get more of your body involved with every motion, thereby working out more muscles at once and getting the most out of every moment of your workout. Popular compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, push-ups, and dumbbell rolls, and a quick Google search will provide you with an extensive list of additional options.
There you have it! Incorporate these tips into your exercise routine, and you'll achieve much better results.
So let's get back to your adventure into health and fitness, and be sure to check back next week for more fitness tips.