How to fit exercise into a busy schedule, build upper body strength and tone your tummy in a flash?
Tips and tricks to getting the most out of your workout
You asked, and we answered. Here are easy-to-follow solutions to your most troublesome fitness queries.
I work 12-hour days, sitting at a desk for most of that time. I’m too tired to go to the gym by the time I get home. How can I fit an effective workout into my day?
Carving out time to exercise throughout a hectic working day is no easy feat, but if you’re serious about investing in your health and embarking on a regular get-fit regime, find a time that suits your schedule and one that you can stick to, no excuses.
We find early mornings are often best. Aside from getting your workout out of the way first thing, it will boost your mood and energy levels for the day ahead. Reward yourself post-workout with a fresh smoothie or your favourite coffee – it’ll make getting out of bed easier if you know a treat is waiting.
If you find yourself hitting the snooze button, try breaking up the workout into slots – a quick 20-minute jog in the morning or a power walk on your lunch break, followed by a yoga or pilates class in the evening to help you wind down from the day.
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I see different people doing variations of sit-ups and crunches in my gym. What works best for a flat stomach?
While most gyms usually offer some specialised machines for the abdominal area, the most effective tummy toning methods can be carried out with just a simple mat to help protect and cushion your back.
To firm up your abs and reduce belly fat (plus those pesky side parts), create your circuit that includes a range of sit-ups, crunches and planks, and 15 minutes of HIIT or high-intensity interval training. If you’re having trouble mastering the moves, take a look on YouTube for expert video tutorials on how to get the most out of the various positions – and remember to always fully engage your core for max impact.
Stomach exercises can be notoriously sore, especially in the beginning, so create a mini playlist of empowering songs to get you through the circuit.
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I’m a runner and have completed a couple of marathons. But my upper strength is lacking. Any suggestions to help me build my upper strength without taking me away from the treadmill for too long?
The upper body is often overlooked for runners, but this area is crucial for improving your speed and endurance. Look to abdominal and back building exercises, such as push-ups or bench presses.
If you’re hesitant to step off the treadmill, set the incline upwards and do a series of short vertical sprints to add intensity and target your upper body while still working your legs. To further tone your arms and shoulders, you can also carry out a few rounds of bicep curls and overhead presses with dumbbells while speed walking.
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