How To Get the Most Out Of Your Workouts
Fitness is Intensity-Dependent
Too often people think that the duration of a workout is what matters most. I was guilty of this disordered thinking at one point, too. I thought that if I worked out for two hours, it was better than working out for one hour, or half an hour.
The truth is, though, that this isn't necessarily accurate. Fitness is largely intensity-driven, and this is too often ignored. Research has shown that the higher the intensity, the more calories you burn -- not only while exercising, but after you leave the gym, when your body benefits from an “after-burn” mode.
The reason people avoid intense workouts is because, well, they're hard. It requires a lot of energy, a lot of focus, a lot of persistence and determination. But the benefits of working out at a high intensity are far better than longer, moderate or low intensity workouts.
Exercise should always be kept short (perhaps efficient is a better word), and intense. Think about giving your all for 30 minutes, rather than dragging out the last 30 minutes haphazardly.
This means that if you're the type to go to the gym and spend the whole time on the treadmill, bike or elliptical, try doing short, intense bouts with longer breaks between. Go as hard and as fast as you can, with good form, for 1 minute, and then break for 1 minute by walking it out. Do another hard and fast bout, and then take another break. As you progress, your intense bouts can extend a little longer.