When it comes to getting in shape it’s easy to hop on the Internet and find an exercise routine, but no matter what program you subscribe to, you may be missing out if you don’t know some secrets of the trade.
That’s right, there are fitness secrets out there that trainers know about but keep to themselves–secrets that could make or break your workout efficacy. Think you know all there is to know about being in shape? Thank again!
Check out this list of top five fitness secrets put together by Saludify:
Top five fitness secrets
- Frequency and intensity beats duration: One of the most kept fitness secrets is how exercise affects the body. According to research in 2013, the more frequently you exercise the heart and lungs intensely trumps how long you workout for. That means it’s better to have several short bursts of intense activity as opposed to one long session, even though they may both result in the same amount of time spent working out. Even one additional minute of brisk exertion made a difference–an almost half-pound difference at weigh-in time!
- Where you train matters: Though not everyone has the benefit of easily moving between elevations, high altitude training is a secret of the professionals. According to altitude.org, “…high altitude could theoretically improve an athletes capacity to exercise. Exposing the body to high altitude causes it to acclimatise to the lower level of oxygen available in the atmosphere. Many of the changes that occur with acclimatisation improve the delivery of oxygen to the muscles -the theory being that more oxygen will lead to better performance.” If you have the option to train in the mountains even periodically, put your body to the test and see if the theory of high altitude training is correct.
- When you train matters: Personal preference aside, the research shows people who work out in the morning tend to see better results than those who exercise during other parts of the day. The reason? Not only are most people more motivated during the morning hours, working out in the morning helps promote better sleep. Better sleep means feeling more refreshed, which helps to motivate for exercise even more. That being said, however, any exercise during the day is beneficial, so an afternoon session is better than no session at all.
- Have a buddy: Though it may be counter-intuitive for some people to have an exercise partner, experts indicate having someone to motivate you often results in more effective workouts. This fitness secret has to do with a number of emotions, including the need to feel accepted and a drive for friendly competition. Exercise partners, even if they are hired coaches, remind us of our goals and push us to stay on track. It’s easy to stay in bed when you have no one to be accountable to but yourself, but when you have a friend waiting on you it’s far more difficult to avoid the routine.
- Don’t watch the clock: Few things can make a workout feel boring like watching the minutes tick by. While it may be necessary to time certain activities, use an alarm system rather than a clock you have to watch. This can be particularly true for people who use exercise machines. Many of these count not only time but calories as well, resulting in constant clock-watching as you workout. Your body is much less inclined to workout if it associates the process with boredom. Keep time flying–by not watching the clock.
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