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How to get the most out of your workout routine

  • Published
  • By Anne Nikola
  • Health and Wellness Center
Everyone has a reason for exercising whether it is to have a healthier heart, to live longer, to have a better immune system, to get stronger, to lose weight, to train for an event, or to just simply feel good. Whatever your motivation is for working out, the best results will come from maximizing your workouts for full benefits.

Overall, to get the most out of your workout routine, you must be consistent. Consistency is key. Exercising for 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity with 60-90 minutes of strength training split up between 4-6 days each week is recommended for most successful workout routines. However, putting in the effort to show up for your workouts is usually enough to see benefits. When you feel like skipping a workout, ask yourself this: How much do you value your health and how hard are you willing to work for it?
Maximizing workout routines.

· Increase the intensity. This can be done by lifting slightly heavier weights for fewer repetitions, cycling or running at a faster pace, or working on a cardio machine at a higher resistance level.

· Incorporate intervals. For example, work at a harder pace for one minute and then work at an easier pace for two minutes. Repeat the cycle for 20-30 minutes.

· Eat simple carbohydrates 30 minutes to two hours prior to workout. Some good examples include a banana, light cereal, or toast with jam.

· Warm up and cool down to prevent injuries. A proper warm up includes active drills such as walking, high knees, lunges, and skips. A proper cool down includes short, lighter activity and static stretching.

· Pay attention to your heart rate. Your main workout should be within 65-75 percent of your maximum heart rate. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, the maximum heart rate for a 22 year old would be 198 bpm. 65 percent of their max HR would be 120 bpm.

· Incorporate both cardiovascular and strength training. Strength training can be done by using dumbbells, free weights, weight machines, or body weight exercises such as pushups and squats. You should aim to strength train two to three times per week.
Cardiovascular activities include anything with constant movement such as walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, or jogging on the elliptical.

· Vary your workouts. To increase your overall fitness, work different muscles by doing different activities throughout the week. Don't be afraid to try something new.