Exercise Smarter, Not Harder
We all know that we have to exercise, so why not find something that works for you. To shorten your workout time, try combining exercises when you can. You can workout at home, at the gym, or outside, but find something that you will do about three times a week for 20-30 minutes each time. That's only an hour per week! You can do it! You want to get a little aerobic, weight training, and stretching in your routine. And of course, don't forget the crunches.
Let's start with AEROBIC exercises, something that will get your heart pumping - something like walking, jogging, swimming, tennis, dancing, using the treadmill/elliptical/or stationary bike, cycling, biking, hiking, yoga, or calisthenics. Surely if God blessed you with the ability to move, you should move. Most of the above exercises will give you aerobic and strength training at the same time, depending on the tension and speed of the exercise. Decide on a routine that makes you smile, like dancing or tennis. Then put on some pumping music and get your workout on! You can do it. Just do it already.
Then there's WEIGHT TRAINING. You can lift free weights, use your body's weight, exercise equipment, and exercise rubber bands to challenge your muscles. Ladies, you really don't need to lift more than three to five pound weights. You can get toned with that amount of weight if you do enough repetitions. Combine weight training with your aerobic exercise to cut down on time.
Lastly, there's STRETCHING. Too many people neglect this type of exercise, but it is so important. It can help you prevent injury. It decreases muscle tension and pain, such as back, shoulder, calf, and neck aches. Yoga and Pilates are good exercises, but take your time with these so that you will decrease muscle tension and not increase muscle tension. You should feel better when you finish exercising, and stretching will help get you there. Try to start and finish with a few stretches that target all large muscle groups. A stretching class like yoga and pilates are great, but if you don't have time for that, make up a couple of stretch exercises that work for your body. Don't twist the back though. Twist your torso, not your back.
CRUNCHES! It's always good to add in a few crunches! Start with ten and work your way up to twenty-five slow crunches. Always contract your stomach muscles, press your lower back into the floor, and only lift your head and shoulders off of the floor to avoid back strain and pain. Doing them slowly is like doing twice as many as you are doing. Slow work makes your body work harder.
Do this and I promise you will feel better and look better. Making exercise a regular part of your lifestyle is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It will help ward off diseases and help you have a better quality life. Enjoy because you deserve the best!