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5 Quick Tips for a Balanced Workout


Its no secret: exercise, aside from a sound diet,  is one of the most critical ways to maintain a healthy mind and body.  Keeping active allows your heart to be strong and your muscles toned. The challenge, however, is finding balance in your exercise routine that will allow you to maximize your time, effort and workout. Developing a well tailored, structured workout will bring amazing results for building muscle and burning fat faster. Here are five tips for attaining a balanced workout.

Alternate areas of focus
During weight or strength training, it is important to choose a singular muscle group to focus on daily.  Begin the week with a arms and chest workout and plan to rest that area the following day. For the next workout devote all energy to legs. Keep muscles engaged by alternating machines, number of reps and set count. This form of muscle confusion will ensure an increased endurance. The same is true for core workouts, which should be a regular part of your routine. Systematically switch between oblique’s and your lower core.

Always try something new
Once you’ve found a routine that works, feel free to indulge but remember to  keep your muscles guessing, shake things up and try something new. Switching up the workout methodology will keep you on your toes (sometimes literally). Make a habit of incorporating new systems and classes you wouldn’t otherwise do once per week.  Take referrals from friends and tag along during one of their classes or bootcamps. Not only will you break the monotony of your average routine the social activity will be great fun!

Supplement a cardio heavy routine with strength training
Strength development not only aids endurance but improves speed and form. Cardio is essential but should must be balanced with an a dose of strength training once or twice per week. This is especially true for those whose typical routine is dominated by running or swimming. The reverse is true for those whose workout is dominantly weights and resistance training. Adding a cardiovascular workout will do wonders for your total body fitness. Strength training with free weights or working against your own body weight, such as in yoga or pilates, are perfect.

When doing cardio, change up speed and resistance
Changing speed, resistance and incline during a workout is key for the body to burn the largest calorie percentage. Adjusting speed and frequency, such as in circuit training, also builds the most muscle.. While working on a treadmill or elliptical, try selecting a mode with interval adjustments or manually switch up speeds. Hi intensity sprints should be short with some slow recovery period added intermittently. For an extra boost try back pedaling intervals.

Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching is a under valued, overlooked part of a workout. Though many people discount its importance, stretching is a keystone part of balanced work tips. Stretching may not build muscle or burn calories, but it helps maintain flexibility and keeps muscles supple and reduces the likelihood of injury. Take time to stretch before and after every workout, and if you are getting ready for a long run or swim, take even more time to stretch, focusing on your hips, quads, hamstrings, and lower back.

David Rockland is athlete and trainer at World Gym, specializing in providing clients with a workout regimen conducive to their overall fitness goals. He stresses the importance of workouts that builds a strong foundation of overall fitness and raise their overall level of health.

Posted in: Health & Fitness

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