If you’re like most women, you likely find it difficult to always find time for yourself. Between your career, family, significant other, and everything else going on, finding time, or making time, for taking care of yourself, your health, and your fitness doesn’t always rank highly on the “To Do” list. Here are some fitness tips for women by doing which you could be healthy.
Do the big four:
If you don’t have a lot of time, you’ll get more strength gains by focusing primarily on larger muscles. These body-weight moves target every trouble zone fast: squats, push-ups, lunges, and plank pose. Do them back-to-back as a circuit three or four times, without taking a break.
Keep an eye on your workouts — literally.
In the list of fitness tips, this the best one. At least one week in advance, write down all of your workouts and stick the list someplace you’ll see it often — like on your fridge. If your routine isn’t right in your face, it’s easy to ‘forget’ about it. In fact, research done at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, has found that writing out workouts in advance makes you more likely to stick with them. Another motivation trick: Write your workouts for the week on three-by-five note cards, and as soon as you do them, toss ’em. Your goal is to finish the week with no cards.
Get a fitness “non”-buddy.
According to numerous studies, working out with a partner will help you get your butt to the gym. So seek out a friend of a friend or a colleague as your exercise partner — someone you can’t blow off with a quick e-mail and a sorry excuse —. If it’s a person with whom you are friendly but aren’t all that close with socially, you’re probably going to feel more of an obligation to get to your workout appointments on a regular basis.
Try the 20-minute rule
…and make every minute count. If you can’t get to the gym for as long as you’d like, interval training — bursts of intensity followed by a brief recovery period — gets results that are often just as good (if not better) than longer, slower-paced workouts. A study from Laval University in Quebec found that subjects who practiced interval training lost significantly more body fat than those who went slow and steady. Intervals burn more calories after a workout because your body takes longer to return to its previous resting state. Try it: Warm up for a few minutes, sprint or walk on a steep incline for 30 seconds, then return to a slower pace for two or three minutes; repeat five or six times.
Meet to burn calories — not consume them
It’s easy to schedule a coffee date or a dinner and never get around to being active. Make an effort to change that habit — you’ll be surprised how much fun it is. Have an exercise date instead of cocktails once a week, and you could stave off a 14-pound weight gain over a year. Try an afternoon of ice skating, cross-country skiing, or sledding (all about 590* calories). Not in the Snowbelt? Try a brisk group stroll to catch up on gossip while burning calories (more than 400 an hour).
Rack up three and a half hours of extra exercise a week
A study from the University of Pittsburgh found that all types of activity, of moderate intensity or greater, can translate into weight loss as long as you hit that magic number and eat a sensible diet. Over the course of seven days, that’s not hard. Little bursts of activity — taking the stairs instead of the escalator, walking a couple of extra blocks at lunch — can add up to significant calories burned each day. Jot your micro-workouts into your daily planner when possible. It’ll just take a sec, and it’ll help you feel motivated to do more! It is one of the best fitness tips.
Heed Your Hunger
Give your body a little more credit: It tells you when you’re hungry—you may not be listening, though. Before chowing down because there’s only one slice of pie left or because the last guest arrived at the brunch, stop and check in with your stomach. If you’re not hungry, make yourself a small plate and sip on some tea or coffee while everyone else digs in. When your belly starts to finally grumble, food will be there.
Take It Outside
A study by the National Institutes of Health that found people could burn up to 7 percent more calories in the cold. So if you’re torching 268 calories during a half-hour indoor run at a 12-minute-mile pace, you may hoof off closer to 300 calories if you head outdoors.
Choose supplements intelligently
The last one in the bulk of fitness tips is to choose supplements intelligently. Some trainers and lifters feel supplements can play a key role in boosting muscle gains. If you subscribe to that theory, then chances are, you’re already taking protein supplements—but what else? for one, seems to be about the most effective strength- and size-building supplement. To boost your performance, you may also want to try peppermint. That alters the perception of how hard you’re working out, making it seem “less strenuous, slower-paced, and easier to complete.”
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