8 Top Workout Tips for a Healthier You

Skipping - A Healthier You

If you have been spending longs hour at the gym and have not noticed a difference in the way you look, it may be because you are not getting the most out of your exercises. Even exercising 30 minutes a day, three to four times a week can be extremely effective if you know how to maximize your workouts.

1. Use the Treadmill

Treadmills are a terrific way to get your heart pumping and increase your blood circulation. Begin by walking briskly while holding a three- to five- pound dumbbell. Do various arm exercises like bicep curls, laterals and triceps extensions as you walk on the treadmill. Not only does this method workout your upper body, but the added challenge of walking will help your cardiovascular system.

2. Use a Jump Rope

Another great cardio workout is to try jumping rope while doing a double-turn maneuver. You will burn at least 26 calories every minute while you’re doing this intense workout. Do a basic jump with the rope for five minutes, then jump even higher and try to swing the jump rope full circle, under your feet twice before you land.

3. Give Yourself Breaks

A great health way to maximize your workouts is to know when you need a break. The 80/20 plan is great for following this way of thinking. For 80 percent of the year, you will exercise vigorously and maintain a healthy diet. The other 20 percent you will allow yourself to slip, as most people do during holidays and while trying to reach work deadlines. You’re more likely to stick with your healthy lifestyle if you accept the fact that people make mistakes and fitness doesn’t necessarily mean all-or-nothing.

4. Jump More

Plyometric box jumps are excellent ways to maximize your workout by improving the heart’s stamina as well as your leg strength. Your hamstrings, glutes and quads will be sore and sculpted after using a sturdy box. Simply stand in front of the box, use your legs to quickly jump onto the box and then jump backwards back down.

5. Eat Carbohydrates

Your body needs energy to perform these workouts, so don’t skimp on the snacks. High-fiber crackers and fruit are great sources of fuel, so consume them at least an hour before you plan to work out. If you plan to work out for more than an hour and a half, add some protein with your snack to give the carbohydrates a chance to break down slowly and give you energy that lasts longer. Trail-mix, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and low-fat cheese and crackers are highly recommended.

6. Drink Water

While you should keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, it’s important to consume water before you plan to exercise. However, it takes the body an hour or two to completely absorb the water, so drink in advance.

7. Enjoy Your Exercise

You are more likely to stick with workout plans that you enjoy doing. It’s no fun participating in an activity that you hate, so there’s a high chance that you will quit the second you can. While the definition of a “fun” workout varies, some suggestions include running, hiking, biking or swimming.

8. Create a Variety

You can also mix up your exercises to give you variation from one day to the next. Not only will you get bored doing the same workout repeatedly, but your body will begin to adjust to the exercise and it won’t be effective anymore. If you are strength training, make sure you switch your routine every couple of weeks. For cardio workouts, try cross training instead of running every day.