There is no quick fix but there are plenty of ways to boost your fitness in quick bursts rather than drawn out training sessions. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is all the rage but it’s not always about that.
Our top five features top speedy ways to take your fitness up a notch.
1. Squash It
It may not be your favourite sport but it is one that delivers results. Squash burns 10% more calories than any other sport you choose. There are many specialised squash workouts which push you to the edge and are fun and competitive as well as fitness boosting.
An Australian study told us that dog owners are 77% more likely to get decent levels of exercise than non-pooch owners. You’re out and about more and some dogs may love a jog as opposed to a run. Turn walking the dog into a fitness challenge. It does wonders for your mental health as well as your physical fitness and you can be sure your furry friend will love the extra intensity.
3. Row, Row, Row
Row to 2,000 metres as fast as you can on the machine at the gym and note both your time and average speed. This is your baseline. From then on you can keep on rowing and improving your time without changing your distance. There’s scope to burn 1000 calories with the right session and all whilst sat on your glutes!
4. Park Fun
Take the kids for your regular park visit and get something extra out of it yourself. You can get them going on the swings and slides and then find yourself a bench for some triceps dips. Once you look around you’ll soon see the park is packed with makeshift exercise equipment. It beats lazily sitting down and watching the kids run riot.
5. HIIT every time
High intensity interval training works. Quick bursts pushing yourself to the max can have a better result than hours of slogging away. Get super-fit in 20 minute sessions at the gym and tone up as well as increase endurance.
Thought you didn't have time to exercise? Think again!
squash certainly burns the calories - but remember to warm up first and cool down afterwards. The rapid twists and turns of squash can injure cold or weak muscles. You should train for squash before doing squash for training!
Taking the kids to the park a workout? I can't imagine doing anything much there except watching them and fiddling on my phone. I would feel very on show if I started clambering around on the equipment doing dips!
I wouldn't call dog walking a 'quick fitness'booster because it's not that intense, I don't ever feel it replaces a gym workout but it definitely keeps a baseline of fitness going. You can also make it tougher if you sprint with your dog. Mine seems to love having me run with him.
What about a 5 minute Tabata workout? you're only meant to do it 3 or 4 times a week and you're sorted. I had a look at some youtube videos of it and it looks very tough but it would do well if you had to miss a gym session .
As someone chronically short of time, I can only recommend squash and HIIT. You get a lot of workout for your time, and the stress release is amazing.
I like the mix of ideas in this article. Some stuff you can try out at the gym, some stuff for doing at the weekend with the family. It gores to show that where there's a will there's a way!
My top fitness boosting tip is to do some stretching. It doesn't have the intensity of the tips outlined in this article but there are loads of benefits. Everyone can find the time to do a yoga pose or two at some point in the day.
Some useful information here. It's an interesting fact about squash burning more calories. Also interesting about the rowing baseline which would help give more focus to the rowing machine workouts.
Good ideas here. I love squash because it's so quick paced and really makes you get a sweat on!