Last Updated on August 17, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
The whole premise of exercise is to increase your physical activity. This helps burn the calories and carbs you consume throughout the day. Exercise can also lead to improving mental capacity as well as building muscle and endurance. Virtually any movement can be exercise, but it is possible to get more out of the experience. You may be able to enhance your routine without spending money on expensive workout machines.
Adding More to Your Exercise Routine
There are a plethora of ways you may increase your exercise routine. Whether you have time to burn or have a few extra dollars you can spend, enhancing the workout is relatively simple. Here are some of the ways I increase my level of sweat when trying to set my own personal records.
Aerobics and other forms of exercise can be invaluable when trying to slim down the waistline. However, adding a bit of weight to the workout can increase the calorie burn by more than 25%. This is done by including ankle and wrist weights. A simple 1.5 pounds of additional weight causes your body to use greater force when exercising. This translates to more energy being used by the body in order to maintain the activity.
Extra weight can also impact motor control of those body parts. For instance, your body can adapt to playing tennis with 1.5 pound weights on your wrist. Once you remove the weights, your reaction time is much faster as the resistance is no longer present. This is called resistance training and is worth the extra few dollars for the weights themselves.
Taking Fewer Breaks
Keeping your heart rate up is key to any workout. The faster your heart beats, the more energy you’re exerting. If you take fewer breaks in between sets or reduce the amount of time you rest, you can keep your heart rate higher for longer periods of time. I wind up working up a sweat far faster when I don’t take breaks during routines and simply grind out the activity.
However, you don’t want to push yourself too hard. For someone who is obese, denying yourself adequate breaks could be ultimately bad for your health. If you don’t work your heart into an exercise routine, you may be at a higher risk for an attack through over-exertion. If you have a heart condition or are severely overweight, consult a physician before doing any exercise routine.
Keep the Body in Motion
If you play the Xbox Kinect or Wii like I do, you need to keep your body moving while playing. Don’t just stand there and do the bare minimum in order to play. Get into the game and dance around like a fool. You should see me when I’m playing tennis. Even when the game is loading I am moving my body. And let me tell you…I can’t dance. However, it’s the activity that is benefiting the body.
Some exercises may allow room for exaggerated body movements. For example, walking can be turned into dancing while walking. Those who find push-ups easier can try clapping their hands when all the way up. Although you may look silly to some, it will still increase the amount of calories you’ll burn. I dance around while waiting for the computer to serve the tennis ball to me on Kinect Sports Season 2.
Adding New Exercises
I often try to mix up my exercise routines by doing things I’ve never done before. This is how I discovered how much I like adding planks. If you’re not worried about time constraints, why not add something new into the mix? For instance, it’s real easy to add the Glute Bridge if you’re already on your back doing Lying Leg Raises. And, it will work out those muscles giving you a firm butt.
One of the most obvious ways to enhance the workout is to add repetitions. My routine started with 20 reps of using 10-pound dumbbells. Over the course of a few months, I slowly increased those reps to 30. However, this also increases the amount of time it’ll take to complete the workout. Some of us don’t have a lot of time in the day to increase the reps too far. But if you can, it’s worth the effort in the long run.
If you’re a walker, you can always increase the amount of time or distance you travel. This is another aspect I often put into play. Even if you only increase the distance by one-tenth of a mile per day, it’s still more than you did before. That’s the whole point – to set records for yourself that can be broken over time.
Never underestimate the value of a good competition. I try to involve myself as often as possible in online activities. For instance, I walk every 5k that Runkeeper hosts. My brother on MyFitnessPal inspires me to lose more weight because he is. It’s all about the feeling of the one-up. Sometimes you get into that mindset of, “oh yeah? Look what I can do.” There’s nothing wrong with competing as long as you’re a gracious winner and loser.
Having fitness buddies to compete with can be ultimately inspiring. As long as everyone is in the mindset of boosting each other and helping everyone advance themselves, the social element can be a powerful tool for health.
Yes, how you eat will greatly impact how much you get out of exercise. Choosing a more rounded meal can do everything from providing energy to reducing recovery. This is one of the reasons why some will drink certain protein shakes during weight training. No one wants to spend the next few days with sore muscles because they pushed themselves too hard. Food can offset a lot of those issues.
It All Centers Around Your Mentality for Exercise
Getting the most out of your exercise will greatly rely on how you view fitness and health. These are only a few methods that I do for myself, but there are more than likely several ways you may discover on your own. As long as you can commit to the choice of pushing yourself to achieve better health, you will succeed.
You don’t have to push yourself to give up the ghost and lay in the middle of the floor from exhaustion. In fact, over-exertion can be dangerous. However, there’s nothing wrong with adding a bit more to your exercise routines to get an additional workout. What can you add to enhance your experience?