By Nicole Flannigan
Keeping up the Motivation
Now that summer is in full swing and the days are getting hotter and longer it’s easier to find excuses not to exercise. For some people it’s an everyday battle just to get up and get to the gym, although I’m sure most of us find that once we walk through the door of the club it’s not all that bad. By the time the workout is done you feel like a different person than the one that rolled out of bed just over an hour ago. Whether it’s working out before the sun comes up or taking a 20 minute power walk to break up the busy work day here a few easy ways to keep up the good work this summer.
- Workout Early in the Morning- If you get up and go early you will increase your chances of getting in a good workout. At the beginning of the day we have the least amount of excuses for skipping a workout. If getting up early enough is the problem, try limiting your snooze to five minutes – this way you won’t fall back into a deep sleep. Once you get into a routine of getting up and out early it will get easier. Not to mention you will get to work feeling more focused and energized.
- Lift before you Run- instead of sitting on a cardio machine and sweating your calories away try doing a quick toning routine pre-cardio. Strength training is something that demands a little bit more attention and skill than running on an elliptical so it works best to do these exercises first.
- Finish strong and Increase your metabolism- after your toning routine, jump on the treadmill for a high intensity cardio workout to finish up. High intensity exercise causes your metabolism to stay elevated several hours post workout. So if you burned 300 calories during your session, you will burn another 50 or so calories while you shower and get dressed.
- Power walk to beat the midday slump- As little as 20 minutes of low intensity cardio, such as walking, can give you a 20 percent increase in energy. Many people seem to think that exercise will make you tired. In fact, the opposite is true. Certain chemicals in the brain are activated during exercise that can give you that boost you need to get through the rest of the afternoon.
- Take the steps double time- next time you opt to take the stairs (which should be every time) take them two at a time (unless you are wearing heels). This quick burst of power will activate muscles in your legs that usually remain inactive when you are sitting at your desk. Fast twitch muscles are used for quick bursts of speed; these muscles burn more calories than slow twitch muscles.
- Set up your gear- you can have all the good intentions to make it to the gym and workout but if you forget a vital piece of equipment, such as gym sneakers, you spoil your plans completely. Lay your gym clothes out the night before. If you are a morning exerciser, put everything out so it’s ready as soon as you roll out of bed. If you prefer to work out after work, pack your gym bag and leave it next to your workbag.