Firm and fit - fast!

Written on the 20 January 2015 by Studio Pilates


Let face it, life isn't getting any slower. With advances in communication like email, facebook and twitter things have just gotten even faster.

With career, family, friends, study, shopping, never seems to stop, who has time for exercise??

Well here are a few simple tips on how to squeeze the most out of your day and look firm, fit and fabulous in the process.

Increase your 'incidental' exercise.
Incidental exercise basically means the exercise you do to achieve your day to day activities. If you increase this incidental exercise you will burn more calories without having to schedule in specific exercise time and only adding a minute amount of time onto your day. Some simple ways to increase your incidental exercise are as follows:

Take the stairs instead of the lift at work and take two steps at once (if your skirt allows it)
Catch the bus or train home? Get off a stop or two early and walk home briskly
Try to do the household chores in record time. Scrub that shower till it sparkles in turbo mode
Walk to the supermarket and carry your groceries home building up the arm muscles

Be open to looking out for ways that you can maximise your incidental exercise in your daily routine and watch the fat start to melt away.

Try interval training
The most effective way to do your cardio and to strip away the fat is to do what's called 'interval training'. Interval training basically means instead of doing a long slow easy jog for an hour, you do short burst of high intensity exercise followed by some low intensity and repeat that numerous times packing twice as much into half the time.
For example instead of doing 5kms on the treadmill, go to your local park and do 10 x 100m sprints at maximum pace, each one followed by 1 min of slow jogging. If you don't like running then you can apply interval training to any form of cardio activity such as swimming, cycling, rowing etc. Boxing or spin classes are great forms of interval training and get great results.

When doing interval training, make sure you are thoroughly warmed up as you don't want any strains to occur and build your intensity as you gain fitness. Give it a go, you will not only get amazing results but also save time.

Maximise your resistance training
The rule is the more muscle you have the faster you will burn calories when you exercise so make sure you're doing some resistance training most days. You don't have to spend hours pumping weights, you should be able to get everything you need from a maximised 10 - 20 min of resistance training. Resistance training is classed as anything that you need to apply a force to in order to move it, including your own body weight. A common form of resistance training is doing weights in the gym.

If you are doing weights you can cut down your workout time down by half by doing a two station circuit. When you have finished one exercise to work one area of the body, go to another machine and workout another area of your body, then go back to the first. Repeat this at least 3 times for each exercise for at least 20 reps to get maximum results. It's best to do this in off peak times at your gym in case someone steals one of your machines whilst you're on the other one.

Doing weights in the gym is not the only form of resistance training though and some feel uncomfortable in the gym environment. You might like to try using Pilates is also resistance training as it tones and strengthens the body in record time.

Pilates uses your body weight for resistance or if you're lucky enough to live near a Pilates studio you should take advantage of the traditional spring resisted Pilates machines. These machines with intriguing names like reformer and trapeze table bring a whole new dimension to your workouts.





Author: Studio Pilates