Do you spend more hours planning your exercise routine than you spend working out? You’ve got enough on your plate before the wedding without needing to worry about fitting in complicated workouts 7 days a week. Here are three ways to ensure that workout planning is less stressful than wedding planning:
1. Ditch the split
Hitting the weight room with a list of 20 arm exercises in hand is a little daunting. While body-part splits (targeting a different body part each day at the gym) are helpful for bodybuilders working to sculpt their bodies before a competition, they are unnecessary for the average woman. If you’re trying to fit in weight training with other planned workouts, it’s much simpler to do 2-3 days of full-body lifting each week. By using compound lifts that work your whole body, you can usually get out of the gym in under 45 minutes. And if you lift on a Mon-Wed-Fri (or similar) schedule, you’ll still have the rest periods you need for muscle to recover and grow.
2. Maximize your cardio with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Once or twice a week (and no more than that!), try swapping a longer cardio workout for some HIIT. This is a great way to get in a really intense fat-burning workout when you have 30 minutes or less to spare. HIIT can be done at the gym (on a treadmill, stepmill, elliptical) or at home or outdoors with almost no equipment. A basic HIIT routine on a stepmill might look something like this:
- 5 minute warmup
- 60 seconds high intensity stepping at near maximum effort
- 90-120 seconds low intensity for heartrate recovery
- repeat high/low intervals for up to 20 minutes
- 5 minute cooldown
You can also check out this infographic for different styles of HIIT.
3. Add a workout you really look forward to
Your options are endless here. For me, it’s a yoga class with my favorite instructor, but for you it might be a long run, a spin class with an awesome playlist, or a Friday night Zumba party. The key is to make sure that your routine includes something fun to look forward to. Finding an activity that calms your mind or energizes you will benefit both your physical health and your stress levels. You don’t have to do the most complicated routine in a magazine or the trendy new gym class if you don’t enjoy it. If hiking or a game of tennis with a friend makes you feel good, then get out there and do it!
What do you do when you’re fed up with your workout routine? I’d love to hear some new ideas, so feel free to share in the comments!