3 simple tips to make your workout more efficient
With the holiday season upon us, Jonathan Malats, a fitness and nutritional coach at Advocate Condell Centre Club in Libertyville, Ill., says it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. It can be difficult over the holidays, with people traveling and visiting family and friends to imagine getting a workout in. But Malat says it doesn’t have to be. Keeping these three simple workout tips in mind, you can still balance enjoying the holiday and staying in shape while also keeping your workout safe.
- It doesn’t take a ton of time to get a good workout in! A study published in the PLOS journal found that high-intensity training for a shorter amount of time is just as effective as a moderate-intensity workout for a longer period of time. “High-intensity training is a great way of getting a fast and effective workout because the body responds quickly to the level and type of training you give it,” Malats says.
- Using props can increase workout efficiency. Another study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine discovered that the use of props in training increases muscle activation. The researchers specifically looked at muscle activation in push-ups with different suspension training systems. They found that muscle activation was significantly greater during the suspended push-up compared to the standard push-up. Malats agrees. “The more tools at your disposal, the better,” he says.
- Foam-rolling is also an excellent habit to include in your routine. Malats explains that your age in decades, is about the number of days per week you should foam roll. So someone who is 40 (four decades) should foam roll four days a week. Including this habit in your exercise routine helps alleviate muscle tightness and tension.
Maintaining a safe workout over the holidays is also critical. When time is tight people often skimp on necessary behaviors which can lead to unnecessary pain and injury. In his experience, the most common issues people face are knee and back pain. These are often a result of the incorrect use of equipment, not stretching properly before and after a workout and overworking muscles which need time to rest.
“With dynamic stretching before workouts and static stretching after, overworking tight muscles is easily preventable,” says Malats.
Finally, don’t skip the instructions to get your workout done faster. Always check for the proper use of equipment before use to prevent injuries, and take days off when working the same muscle multiple times in a row.
By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can practice safe workout routines that help you achieve better results in less time.
About the Author
Shvetali Thatte, a junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, is a remote Public Affairs and Marketing intern for Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill. She spends her time by engaging in clubs and sports at school as well as volunteering at the hospital and nearby tutoring programs. She enjoys spending time with her friends, traveling, and reading. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine with a focus on public health.