How do you make your workouts more effective?

One of the biggest reasons which puts off most people from working out is the false notion that they need to spend hours in the gym or the outdoors to become fitter. On the contrary it is not true and is not practical either. The majority of my clients are full time working professions who do not have enough time for themselves. The last thing in their mind would be to spend hours in the gym to become healthier. Well, let me tell you that it is possible to spend 30-45 minutes a couple of times a week and ensure that you work towards being healthier. In fact the biggest challenge for me is to fit in the most efficient and customized workout schedule for my clients.
Some of the things which I feel most of you can do is to remove the thinking that one needs to invest hours together in the gym or an outdoor facility to burn those extra calories. Some of the things which you can do to increase your health quotient are –

Limit your exercise to 30-45 minutes: Though the tendency of most people is to spend a couple of hours in the gym, our body produces lactic acid within 45-60 minutes of working out and after that whatever is done is usually to impress others. The important factor is to ensure that you know what you are planning to do before you step into the gym. I know in detail as to which exercise I will be doing for the day by just planning ahead. It’s better to work out at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time.

High-intensity workouts:If you’re just starting out with an exercise program, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. Once you have built up that base of endurance step up the intensity to amplify the effectiveness of the workout.

Compound exercises: Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend on a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises you can get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world rather than in isolation. Some great compound exercises include squats, dead lifts, good mornings, lunges, push-ups,  bench presses, military presses, rows, pull-ups and dips to name a few.

Mix it up: Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long or your body will adjust to the stress level and you won’t be satisfied with the results. For strength training, change your routine every few weeks. For cardio it’s best to cross train rather than to do the same thing everyday. For example, i do not do the same exercise on two consecutive days be it lifting or a cardio session.

Good form:For strength training especially, form is very important. If you’re strength training, start with lighter weights so that you can work on your form. It’s good to have an experienced spotter or trainer who knows the significance of good form to help you for the first month or so. Never sacrifice form for heavier weight. For any other form of exercise you need to plan accordingly.

Food Intake: This is the key as the saying goes “ABS are created in the kitchen and not in the Gym” Do remember that good eating habits are the key, especially ensuring that our energy comes from a good source of Carbs (40-50%), Proteins (30-40%) and Good fats (10-20%).By ensuring that you have small healthy meals every 3-4 hours you will spike your metabolism and ensure that it is always on a fat burn mode.

Water: Be sure to hydrate throughout the day. It takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water that you drink. Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day. Remember at most times we are actually thirsty and not hungry. Therefore drink a big glass of water in-between those meals.

Rest: This is the most important factor and to be truthful this requires a separate Blog article dedicated to optimum rest. I have noticed that off late people compromise on their sleep time and that is a critical error. By ensuring that one rests for at least 7-8 hours every night you are doing yourself a big favor because the body is rebuilding during this time. Most of the repair work with our body and mind is done at this time. What I mean is that you ensure that there is no compromise in this area. This is the key to your overall well-being.

Be active through the day: Even if you are working out or have some kind of physical activity in your weekly schedule it is a no gainer unless you are active through the day. If you are like most of us and confined to a desk job then ensure that you walk around for a couple of minutes every hour. If possible stand and work for at least couple of hours. I now stand and work for 2-3 hours every day. I know it sounds difficult but recent research has proved that sitting for too long at work or worse in front of the T.V ensures that you put on weight rapidly. It could also make way for lifestyle related diseases to creep in.

So to sum it up the idle workout schedule would be to spend 3-4 hours a week doing some kind of physical activity, be well hydrated and ensure you keep a hawk’s eye on your food intake. A Smarter option would be to maintain a journal to keep track of whatever is going inside your mouth. This is a very effective strategy. Last but not the least is to ensure that you do rest for 7-8 hours. I am sure that with the kind of lifestyle most of you are leading this may sound like Greek and Latin but once you make up your mind and envision the image of a healthier you, then these changes will just be a walk through the park.

However the points I have mentioned are only through my own experience and an accumulation of knowledge through intense reading. I am not an expert but was at one point of time just a person like you searching for answers and pondering about how to become healthier. If any one of you is planning to turn over a new leaf then get a proper medical consultation before making the necessary changes deemed fit.
I hope that the above will motivate some of you to change over and and work towards being more healthy. If you want to reach out to me or feel someone amongst your friends or family might be benefited by working on their health then do not shy away from sending me a mail on . You can even leave a message on my Face book Fan Page.