9 Ways to Speed Up Your Summer Workouts

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Do your summer workouts fall by the wayside when the temp heats up? It’s all too easy to skip your regular sweat sessions when warm weather fun with family and friends takes over your calendar. (Poolside happy hour, anyone?)

But, of course, you probably don’t want to spend Labor Day weekend a few pounds heavier and wishing you hadn’t slacked off on your fitness routine all summer. Am I right? Here are 9 ways to speed up your summer workouts, so you don’t have any excuse to skip them!

Use High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your workouts. Incorporating high-intensity intervals into your routine will help you torch calories faster and challenge your body like no other workout! Ready to give it a go? Try this 10-minute HIIT workout that you can do just about anywhere!

Plan your workout

Wandering around the gym searching for equipment—or worse, for exercises to copy—wastes precious minutes. Plan your workout before you arrive at the gym to maximize your time. Check out Health’s workout videos or browse the Fitness Finder for new exercises to try.

Exercise during non-peak hours

Waiting around for a treadmill or working into someone’s set on the weight machines can add time to your workout. Skip the peak hours at your gym and exercise early in the morning or late at night to ensure that you have your choice of equipment.

Choose total-body exercises

Make the most of your workout by selecting exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once (also known as compound exercises). For example, try alternating dumbbell lunges with an overhead shoulder press, so you work both your lower and upper body at the same time.

Put in your headphones

Do you listen to music when you exercise? Wearing headphones can signal to others that you don’t want to be disturbed, which prevents unsolicited chitchat that can slow down your workout. Plus, the music may give you a mental boost so you can power through your sweat session.

Take a class

Having a set start and end time for your workout will help make your sweat session more efficient, especially when the instructor makes the most of your time in class. Think about it: organized instruction, all the equipment you need right at your fingertips, and someone watching the clock. How’s that for efficiency?

Stretch in the locker room

Instead of taking time to stretch right after you finish exercising, take it to the locker room. Do some quickie calf, hamstring, and quad stretches while you’re undressing for the shower or primping afterward. You can always stretch more at home if your muscles are still tight later in the day.

Keep your gear organized

Untangling headphones or searching for your heart-rate monitor can sap up valuable time, so keep your gear organized. A gym bag with lots of pockets and compartments will give your things a “home,” so they’re easy to find when you need them. Just make sure to put them back where you found them!

Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

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