When I discovered our gym had free daycare I basically moved in.
I’m kidding, mostly, but I do love the little luxury of child care that has made regular daily workouts a part of our routine. Some days, just getting to the gym felt like an accomplishment and it was hard to muster motivation to do much once I’d dropped the kids off. But, at 8 months post partum and back in shape, I’ve been looking for ways to up level my fitness game, ways to take more advantage of the hour I give myself each day.
Up-grade Your Workout: Simple tips to take your exercise to the next level with less time
Track your progress.
They say that when performance is measured, it improves so whatever you are trying to improve, start measuring it. Right now the only measuring I really do is how far I run and how how fast I run but I haven’t started writing those down at the end of each workout. But, I do know that before babies tracking my numbers for pull-ups made a HUGE difference in how quickly I improved. So, I’ll take this tip right along with you and we can both start measuring the areas we want to see progress in.
Try something new.
Sometimes we get in a fitness rut and the easiest way out is to mix up your routine (assuming you have one). I loved buying myself a month of TRX classes when I was trying to kickstart my exercise after Adelaide was born and then again the month before Christmas. In 2017 I decided to add a little bit of running to the mix (because TRX does not have childcare but the gym does have treadmills). Even something as simple as trying a few new machines will hit different muscle groups and work your body in a different way.
Compete with someone, anyone.
Research shows we all perform better when we compete so make it a competition, even if just against yourself. Tracking your progress and trying to see improvement is an easy way, or maybe it is as simple as taking a class so you’re working along side people. I find I always push myself harder when I’m in a class setting with an instructor paying attention to me and classmates just a few feet away.
Pick your time strategically.
So you’re already working out, but if your goal is a leaner look, you burn more fat if you hit the gym soon after waking up on a (mostly) empty stomach. Because you’ve just been sleeping all night, your body is already in a calorie deficit so you’ll utilize body fat as an energy source. If you aren’t doing cardio though, fuel up with some protein for weight lifting. Personally, I just have a very light breakfast before the gym and eat another small meal when we get home but I’m trying to focus on fueling my body for the activity I need it to do.
New workout clothes.
I know I’m not the only one motivated by new workout clothes but I couldn’t find any science to back up my experience (no ones studied it, but everyone knows it). Picking up workout clothes you feel great in (as opposed to new regular clothes you’re aspiring to fit into) is a great way to kick your workout up a notch. I know I work harder when I feel good, and sometimes new clothes are that little boost I need.
Upgrade your deodorant.
My most recent workout upgrade has been switching up my deodorant to the new Dove Advanced Care Deodorant. I’ve been using Dove deodorant for years (and certain scents take me back to certain years of high school/ college) and this new one is my favorite so far. It offers 48 hours of odor and wetness protection plus, the biggest benefit for me, the added skincare benefits of Dove moisturizers and NutriumMoisture. My skin has been so dry after having Adelaide (another whole post coming on that) and so the added skin care element has been a game changer. A good deodorant lets me sneak in a workout even when I have other morning commitments because I’m not worried about coming straight from the gym or about pushing myself too hard while I’m there.
Compound your exercises.
By working out more than one muscle group at once, you maximize the minutes you spend actually exercising.. Time is not something we have an infinite amount of so up-level your workout by doubling up on your exercises. If you’re going to spend ten minutes doing squats, add a bit of arms to the same exercise. Focus on full body workouts or at least consider engaging your core with whatever exercise you’re doing for an additional burn.
So I want to hear, what are your tips for getting the most out of your precious few moments? How do you upgrade your workouts?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.