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Make Exercise More Efficient

Posted Apr 20 2011 1:57am

It is becoming more and more common that people are exercising a lot but with very little in the way of results. I think we can all admit to being victims of this phenomenon as one point or another, myself included. Truth is that this seems to be a modern day phenomenon with so many people spending 90% of their days sedentary – sitting behind a computer.

And even though they may throw in a few runs a week it is simply not enough to keep in shape. Couple the largely sedentary lifestyle with a poor diet and there is trouble – Muscles become tight, energy drops, and weight is gained in all the wrong places.

Luckily there are simple ways around this, often just minor exercise and lifestyle tweaks can make a world of difference. It really comes down to showing your body new things, making sure you work your muscles and keep moving……

- Exercise when and how you want. This is something that should always be emphasised in making an exercise plan work – it should be enjoyable and you should want to do it. If things are any other way exercise will seem like a chore rather than an enjoyable hobby. Nowadays instead of forcing myself to the gym to do planned workouts I decide day-to-day depending on how I feel. Try to fit in a wide variety of movement into your week whether its Sport, Bodyweight Workouts, Yoga or just Moving More. Less stress = Better Results

- Work the Muscle. A key factor for whatever kind of resistance training you are doing is to make sure the muscle is worked – There is no point being able to do 40 push ups if they are crappy ones, better off doing 20 and really contracting the chest, shoulders and keeping the body like a plank in each and every repetition. This is what triggers breakdown of the muscle tissue and stimulates growth and repair.

- Short and Hard. Always beats long and easy when it comes to exercise – Most people will hit the treadmill or go running at a slow pace if they want to get in shape or lose weight. This is a real double whammy for your body; it slows the metabolism and encourages muscle breakdown via catabolic hormones. It may work at first but in the long-term the body adapts and results disappear. It is an example of something I like to call ‘Forced Fitness’. You want to go short and intense to make exercise effective – things like simultaneous training and tabata’s do wonders for the metabolism and can be effective when done only once or twice a week.

- Get out of your Comfort Zone. Stop doing the same workouts, change them. Try a class, be pushed by someone else, train with a friend. These are all examples of doing something new, pushing yourself and ultimately getting better results. SWITCH your workout.

- Stay on your Feet. Move More – walk when you can, take the stairs, get up and stretch, spend more time on your feet throughout the day. More and more research is showing that even though we exercise the fact that we spend most time sitting is what is doing damage. Hitting the cross-trainer for 20 minutes 3 times a week is unlikely to make exercise effective if you spend most of your time sat behind a desk. You need to find different ways to integrate more movement into your everyday life Sit Less Move More.

Sometimes it is the little things that can make a huge difference, they are usually the things we tend to neglect when it comes to exercise. By sticking to basics like moving more, keeping good form and upping exercise intensity while lowering duration good results are guaranteed.

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