We know that exercise releases those feel-good endorphins, but sometimes even the promise of a better mood isn't enough to motivate us off the couch. Luckily, this year we learned that short is good and recovery is sweet. Read on for three headlines about fitness we loved this year!
- Boost metabolism in seven minutes: Need some justification that any exercise is better than nothing? Earlier this year, the American Council on Exercise released the perfect high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that, when done at almost your max intensity, helps increase your endurance, boost metabolism, and benefit your health — all at seven minutes at a time. Sounds like just what you need? Get the entire seven-minute HIIT workout here!
- Become a morning exerciser in a week: Studies have found that those who work out first thing in the morning tend to burn more calories than those who exercise later in the day, and getting your workout out of the way is a smart strategy to ensure to stick with it. But if you're not a rise-and-shine kind of person, dragging yourself out of bed so early takes a lot of willpower. Make it easier on yourself by ditching the alarm clock; a recent study found that a week of camping helps sync your body's circadian clock with the sun, so you naturally wake with sunrise and are ready for bed after sunset. To help yourself rise earlier in the morning as we head deep into Winter, keep your curtains open so you wake up naturally with the sun; you'll also be more apt to go to sleep earlier in the night and feel rested in time for the next morning's workout.
- Recovery is juicy sweet: After all that exercising, you can sure feel it in your muscles. This year, we found a tasty solution to your soreness problem: watermelon juice. Researchers looked at athletes experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and found that 500 mL of unpasteurized watermelon juice helped significantly relieve muscle soreness and reduce recovery heart rate after 24 hours. Watermelon juice has also been shown to help enhance your athletic performance, so drink up!