4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

A new study reveals that contrary to popular belief, more exercise is not always better. We have the expert-backed tips to help you get in, get out, and get the most of your workout.

August 14, 2014
Woman exercising

It's safe to say that, yes, working out is a good thing. There’s a lot of scientific data supporting the benefits of exercise on not only your body, but also your mind. Like all good things, though, too much of it is bad. While studies have shown that a regular fitness regimen like brisk walking or jogging helps to manage the rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease and lower the risk of death from hypertension, stroke and type 2 diabetes, a new study reveals the potential downsides of too much exercise. 

In the study published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers found a reduction in cardiovascular related deaths in around 65 percent of the 2,400 heart attack survivors surveyed who were running less than 30 miles or walking less than 46 miles a week. They also found that doing any additional miles did not have much health benefit.

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"These analyses provide what is to our knowledge the first data in humans demonstrating a statistically significant increase in cardiovascular risk with the highest levels of exercise," says Paul T. Williams, PhD, of the Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Paul D. Thompson, MD, of the Department of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital.

According to Ben Booker, NASM Certified Personal Trainer at Daily Burn, a fitness regimen should enhance your quality of life, not take it over. If you find yourself spending too much time at the gym (Read: neglecting your family, friends, and other important relationships) it’s time to restructure your workouts. 

"Moderation and consistency have proven to be the most effective elements in many aspects of wellness," adds Kelly Lee, CPT and trainer at Grokker. "Too many people are stuck with the old mindset that they have to work out for an hour (or more!) or it is 'not worth it.'"

The problem with that? Those that just don’t have to the time to put in a full 60 minutes or more end up skipping the gym completely or go extra hard to make up over the weekend, says Lee.  

So what’s an effective workout that will give you the most return on your time investment? For Booker, it’s a good strength training program that incorporates proper form, pushing yourself as hard as possible, with controlled timed. Pair this with proper nutrition and you’re golden! 

We’ve got 4 tips from our fitness experts to help maximize your efforts and smartly use your time.

1. Utilize a stopwatch. It will help you keep rest periods between 30 to 90 seconds. This is a huge benefit that will allow your heart rate to stay in the fat burning zone more consistently, equaling bigger results in a shorter amount of time, shares Booker. 

2. Learn how to continually push your body to it's max power, while staying safe with good form. According to Booker, this concept usually gets him in and out of the gym in under 45 minutes about 95 percent of the time. And he sees better results than 95 percent of people staying in the gym 2 hours on end.  

3. Start incorporating more high-intensity training. You give 100 percent of your effort during the quick bursts, followed by shorter recovery periods. This is a highly effective calorie burner shares Lee. And the good news: you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to feel the results!

4. Get educated. Start reading up on what it means to train, how the body response to stress, and look for a program that fits your lifestyle, says Booker.  Coming in the gym everyday is no different than building a career. If you show up to your work place with no plan, no schedule in place, and little knowledge of how to achieve optimal results, you will most likely stay stagnant in your work environment and not move up the ladder.  If you continue to walk into the gym with no plan, you will continue to get no results.  

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