How to Make the Most of Your Gym Time from Make the Most of Your Gym Time

Make the Most of Your Gym Time

How to Make the Most of Your Gym Time

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For those of us who don’t have the leisure of spending hours upon hours at the gym, it’s important that we use the time that we do have wisely; even if it’s just 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Any amount of activity, no matter how little, is always better than choosing to do nothing at all. These tips can help solve your time-crunch quandaries and teach you how to make the most of your precious exercise time.

Be smart.

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Another way to ensure your workouts are efficient and effective is to make sure that you’re exercising correctly. In addition to following a well-designed workout plan, properly executing each of the exercises is an essential aspect of making the most of your gym time. You research exercise and workout “how to” guides online or try working with a personal trainer for a few weeks until you feel confident performing the moves on your own.

Take the total body approach.

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Avoid focusing on trying to “tone up” one specific body part. You can’t reduce fat from specific parts of your body, so focusing only on your abs, arms or butt won’t be the best use of your time. Instead, take a total body approach that places an emphasis on both burning fat and building muscle all over.

Be prepared.

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If you’re not organized and armed with a plan, getting to and from the gym can add a significant amount of time to your exercise endeavor. Cut down on transition time by making sure your gym bag is packed and ready to go at night before you head to sleep; this way you can throw it in your car and head straight to the gym whenever it’s most convenient for you. Be sure to also pack anything you’ll need for after the gym so you can head straight to the next engagement without having to stop back home.

Make a plan.

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Aside from packing your bag, part of preparing for the gym also involves planning your workouts. When you walk through those gym doors you should already know exactly what your workout will entail. Avoid wandering around the gym while deciding what exercise to do next. Not only does it waste time, but it makes for an extremely ineffective workout.

Try group exercise.

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If you’re not sure how to come up with an effective workout plan or you simply just don’t have the time, an easy solution is to attend group exercise classes instead. It’s almost like working with a personal trainer; they plan the workouts for you, only you have to share the program with a few fellow gym-goers. If you’re super crunched for time and can’t attend the entire class (they usually last anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes), let the instructor know that you need to sneak out early and pick a spot in the back near the door so you won’t interrupt other exercisers when you do need to leave.

Turn off your phone.

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OK, you don’t need to shut it down completely. But avoid being distracted by messages, emails and social media by turning on the ‘do not disturb’ mode and focusing only on your workout during the time you spend at the gym. Not only will your workouts become more effective, but you’ll save lots of time, too.

Increase intensity.

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When you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, one way to make your workouts more effective is by increasing intensity. You’ll burn more calories in less time and reap more fitness benefits like increased strength and endurance, too.

Be friendly, but frank.

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Every gym has its resident Chatty Cathy, and from time to time you’ll probably bump into a few friends or acquaintances while you’re there, too. Of course, you don’t want to be rude so you can smile and say hi, but politely reminding your talkative pals that you’re on a mission to focus on finishing your workout will help you cut down on excess gym time.

Exercise alternatives.

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Going in with a plan is important, but if it happens that a machine you were going to use is taken or you can’t find the piece of equipment you wanted to use, you’ll save lots of time by choosing an alternative exercise.

Relax a little.

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Yes, you want accomplish as much as possible in what little amount of time you have, but that doesn’t mean your workout should feel rushed and hurried. Remember to focus on the enjoyment of exercise; stress is associated with negative health effects, so try not worry too much about cramming your workout in and take a few minutes to warm-up, cool down, stretch and focus on your breath.