I've been fitting in workouts when I can, either at lunch or after work, but I can't get over the fact that a regular exercise routine can be a major time suck during the week. From rushing to and from the gym in time to make dinner reservations to trying to finish a project at work before the sun sets, factoring in time for a quality run or gym session can be serious work. So when I do have free time for a longer workout, I still want to make sure I'm getting the most out of my time.
Have more than a few minutes to exercise? Don't waste an hour on the treadmill, read on for tips on making the most of your workout.
Strategize your weekly workouts. Some days are meant for longer workouts. If you know your whole week is busy except for one day, for example, use that time to work on a longer strength training routine or take a class that you've been eyeing. If you plan ahead, you'll know how and what you should spend your time on when you do get a chance to work in a longer exercise routine.
Do fewer reps. No, you're not getting off the hook. Instead of doing too many reps, try upping the weight of your dumbbells. Studies have found that lifting bigger weights for fewer reps doesn't, as many people think, increase the bulkiness of your muscles. You'll get similar benefits from lifting lighter weights for lots of reps, as you will by lifting heavier weights for fewer reps, as long as you go until you've fatigued your muscles. So save some time and up the pounds!
Take a shorter class. In it for the calorie burn? Skip the 90-minute yoga and try another class that burns calories in a shorter amount of time. Depending on if you want cardio or sculpting, try a spinning class or Bar Method class instead — you'll burn about 400 calories in an hour-long beginning/intermediate Bar Method class.
High intensity interval training. Not only does interval training help you burn more calories (both during your workout and after), but it also increases both your speed and your endurance. So next time, try an interval workout if you are on the treadmill (like this one) and get even more out of your workout.