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This Month In Body
  • Exercise Smarts
    Maybe you’ve reached a weight loss plateau or perhaps you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for. Whatever the case, there are always things you can do to improve your workouts. Here are a few ideas to get started. Read >>
  • Make It Worth It
    Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it on ineffective workouts that provide little if any results. Choose from one of the following options for the highest odds of reaching your weight loss goals in the least amount of time. Read >>
  • Easy on the Joints
    While many living with arthritis fear that physical activity may worsen their pain, physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve the stiffness and inflammation of arthritis, fight fatigue, and increase strength and range of motion. Read >>
  • Mommy-To-Be Exercises
    A growing belly, aching back, or upset stomach make for easy excuses when exercise isn’t a priority. While you may feel like putting your feet up, you’d do you and your baby favors by including regular exercise as part of your prenatal health plan. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Exercise Smarts

The right exercises, done the right way, provide the greatest fitness gains.

Whatever exercise you do, you want your time to be well spent. Yes, you can do your normal workout, but what if there were things you could do to improve your workout to make it more effective and efficient? It’s easy to do what’s comfortable and familiar, but you may be missing out on valuable health and fitness gains.

Maybe you’ve reached a weight loss plateau or perhaps you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for. Whatever the case, there are always things you can do to improve your workouts. Here are a few ideas to get started.


Reaching your fitness goals in less amount of time doesn’t mean you have to workout longer or harder. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the way to go if you’re looking to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. One of the best things about HIIT is that it’s adaptable to a variety of different workouts, whether you enjoy walking, jogging, swimming, strength training, or cycling.

During a HIIT workout, you push your body to its physical limits for short bursts of time, followed by periods of active recovery at a slower pace. Alternating between high- and moderate-intensity exercise allows you to burn more calories than you would if you tried to do your whole workout at an intense or moderate level. HIIT is also one of the best ways to create an after burn, which happens when your body continues to burn extra calories after your workout has ended.

Cross Train

If you do the same workouts over and over again, your body adapts and you stop seeing results. Sometimes you just need to change things up a bit. Cross training means you rotate through different workouts so your body is challenged in new ways. Be sure to include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises in your routine. Find several workouts you enjoy and rotate through them. And if you start to plateau, changes things up again.

Compound Exercises

Walk past the weight machines at the gym. The majority of them are designed to work only one muscle group at a time. What you want to focus your time and energy on are compound exercises—exercises that work multiple muscles in a single movement. Instead of doing a lower-body, upper-body, chest, or back day, plan to do full-body exercises each workout, with a day or two off for recovery in between.

Think of weighted squats, lunges, rows, deadlifts, bench press, and overhead press. In each of these exercises, you’re working your upper and lower body muscles at the same time.

Recovery Days

For one to two days following an intense workout, your body is busy recovering. Metabolic wastes are removed, energy stores are replenished, and damaged muscle tissue is repaired. If you go from one intense workout to the next without letting your body recover, you’re at a greater risk for injury, burnout, and a lack of results.

With that in mind, sometimes less is more. Plan for no more than two sessions of high-intensity exercise each week. On the in-between days, do light- to moderate-intensity exercise.

Take Care of Yourself

Smart exercise means taking care of your body. An hour of exercise a day won’t make up for the other 23 hours of your day spent living an unhealthy lifestyle. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, hydrate your body with plenty of water, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and stay active throughout the day.

About Training with Mr. America
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