How to Build Muscle Fast

There are things you can do to help you build muscle fast.

One of the things you need to understand is that trying to build more muscle can take time. We’re not talking about looking like The Rock here. We’re talking about maybe adding 5 to 10 pounds of muscle mass. But the good news is, you can actually learn how to build muscle fast.

What may be slowing down your progress is that perhaps you don’t fully grasp what you need to do to build muscle. Learn to understand the basic principles of bodybuilding and you should be able to learn how to build muscle fast as well.

What to Eat to Build Muscle Fast

Nutrition plays a crucial role in building muscle. Essentially, they provide you with the “raw material” so you can have bigger muscles. So you’ll need to pay attention to what you eat. You have to keep a record, and you have to note down your caloric consumption plus your carb and protein intake.

If you really want to speed up the muscle building process, then you can’t take too much time trying to understand everything you read. It can get very confusing for you, since a lot of online “facts” on the topic are untrue or contradictory. With the help of a nutritionist, you can get a definitive diet plan which you can just follow to the letter.

You’ll also need to look into some supplements. That’s because your diet may not be able to provide you with all the nutrients you need on a consistent basis. If you can’t get enough protein from your food, then you can compensate by drinking protein shakes.

However, supplements can also boost hormone profiles or increase the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which you need for energy. Some supplements contain ZMA or creatine for this purpose. Other supplements can also have caffeine, which will give you the energy you need for your workout.

Correct Bodybuilding Exercises to Build Muscle

This is also a very confusing topic, as there are as many philosophies as there are professional trainers out there. What seems to be a unanimous belief is that you must lift weights if you want to learn how to build muscles.

Again, professional advice can really accelerate your progress, so you may want to look into hiring a personal trainer. For the most part, trainers are of the opinion that the basic exercises can give you the fastest results.

These include bench pressing, deadlifts, and squats. You can also add pull-ups and military presses. These exercises work more muscles in far less time than other exercises.

What you need to avoid is over-training. More is not always better. With over-training, you’ve dealt too much stress on your muscles and this can result in injury, a lack of progress, or the decrease in enthusiasm.

You should also try to spice things up every month or so by changing your workout routine. Simple changing the sequence of the workouts can work.

Finally, you have to improve. The weight you can lift should be more after a month. By improving, you maintain a consistent level of stress on your system.

Rest and Recreation Help Build Muscle Fast

While you toil away on your workout routine, ironically most of your muscle growth happens while you’re taking a rest. It’s during your off-training days when your muscles are recovering when you actually build muscles. This is why you mustn’t exercises the same muscles every day.
Basically, the exercises are “tearing” your muscle fibers. When you rest, your body rebuilds your muscles, and that means they can get bigger and stronger. If you are feeling some pain, you should stop and rest.

You need your rest for your muscles to recover. It’s estimated that muscles need as much as 72 hours of rest after a workout session.

So getting enough sleep is a must. You need to learn to relax, so that your body doesn’t produce too much cortisol which encourages your body to burn muscle and store fat.

If you still don’t get some improvement after following these tips, then a visit to the doctor may also help. You may have an underlying health condition that keeps you from building muscle.

You just have to keep in mind that even with these tips, it will still take some time to get the physique you want. You can’t expect super quick results. You just need to go at it and persevere. At least with these tips on how to build muscle fast you will be able to achieve the results you want in the shortest time possible.

Losing Weight Jumping Rope

Losing weight by jumping rope is a benefit to having fun.

Losing weight by jumping rope is a benefit to having fun.Jumping Rope Is a Great Idea For Losing Weight

Jumping rope is an inexpensive exercise equipment that is a really good cardiovascular and muscular workout. It improves muscle tone on the legs and arms. It’s very easy to do and is a great way to lose weight without shelling out a lot for a gym membership and a personal trainer. Jumping rope started as a game for kids but has picked up popularity as a legitimate piece of workout equipment used for weight loss.

Jumping rope for 10 minutes burns about 100 calories and a pound of fat is about 3500 calories. Now I am not saying that you burn all 3500 calories purely from jumping rope but using one will definitely make a difference. 10 minutes of jumping rope burns roughly the same calorie count as 30 minutes of jogging or over 700 yards of swimming. A simple jumping rope and a good weight management program can help you burn the fat fast.

Here are a few more things that jumping rope brings to the table:

It’s a Total Body Workout

Jumping rope works the legs, the arms, the abs and the circulatory system. It is a killer cardio that makes us sweat a lot and burns calories efficiently. The more time you spend using it, the more fat we tend to burn. It not only burns fat but is also great for your skin so you end up with a tight and lean midsection and lower body. Jumping rope produces quite a result that it only has to be used 30 minutes a day and results can be noticed within a few days.

Great Looking Legs

The reason we lose weight is to look good. With jumping roper, we will be able to tone our calves, hamstrings, and even the glutes. This results not only in better muscle tone but a lot of calorie burns. Our bodies tend to burn a lot more calories when muscle quality improves and this is what jumping ropes tend to do to our legs.

Great Cardio

Increasing cardiovascular capacity is one great effect of jumping ropes. Better cardiovascular capacity allows us to do a lot more is our days which in turn burns more calories. If we improve the cardio capacity, the heart and lungs improve in efficiency and therefore not only makes us lose weight but feel better overall.

Portable – Do it Anywhere

The fact that it can be brought and used anywhere makes for a big advantage since you don’t have to go to the gym to loss weight. You can do a quick 15 minute session while on break and that will help in losing weight in the long run. This is especially useful for people who spend hours seated on an office chair.

Losing Weight Jumping Rope is Fun

Let’s face it, jumping rope is a lot more fun than just running of swimming. We liked it as kids and there’s no reason we won’t like it now considering all the benefits that we can have from it.

Those are just some of the benefits that jumping rope can bring and that is why it’s a great idea to use for weight loss. Losing weight does not have to be an ordeal. It can be a fun and enjoyable activity that will make us feel happy and fulfilled.


A Guide to Healthy Walking Technique

Your walking technique makes a huge difference.

Walking, as a way to improve your health and trim your waistline, requires the use of a good exercise technique – Specifically, a good walking technique involves:

1. Using good form; let’s start with your head and work our way do.
2. Looking forward and not down with your eyes when walking; this way your neck, shoulders and back all stay in a straight vertical straight line with your head.
3. Giving some rhythm to your walk by naturally swinging your arms; to get even more benefit out of your walk and to burn more calories, use light hand weights and “work” your arms in a back-and-forth pumping motion.
4. Tightening your abdominal core when walking. A strong core gives your body good posture and helps keep head, neck, shoulders and back in alignment.
5. Making sure as you take steps forward, your foot contacts the ground on the outside of your heel first and as your step progresses, your weight should shift inside to your arch and then shift back to the ball of your foot and finally to your toes where you push off for your next step.

But you should also bear in mind these three walking technique tips if you’re going to get the most from your walking workouts…

Walking Technique Tip 1 – Exercise (Almost) Daily

The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate exercise at least 2 1/2 hours each week to stay healthy. For most of us, this can be broken down into 30-minute increments of walking five days per week, interspersed with one day of strength training and resting on the seventh day, to round out your weekly healthy walking plan.

Walking Technique Tip 2 – Set Realistic Goals

If you are extremely out of shape and have not exercised for a while, start slow. Once cleared by your doctor to exercise, try walking five minutes per day for the first week. Increase this amount by five minutes each week. After 6 weeks, you will be walking 30 minutes per day.

If you can’t find a 30-minute chunk of time to walk, you get the same benefit by walking twice a day for 15 minutes each time or even three 10-minute daily walks.

Walking Technique Tip 3 – Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is the part that gives you the motivation to stick to your healthy walking plan. Today, there are several electronic “tools” on the market to make tracking easy. Invest in a good pedometer or accelerometer to keep track of how many steps you walk each day. Your goal, between walking and other steps you take each day, should add up to 10,000 per day.

Benefits of Using the Correct Walking Technique

Besides losing weight and getting healthier, following a walking plan can lift your mood, improve coordination, strengthen bones, and even prevent or negate the effects of various illnesses, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

To make walking even easier, enlist a friend or family member to walk with you. Both of you will reap the benefits of walking when consistently using a healthy walking technique.

If you’d like to get more out of your walking for fitness plan, check out the “Guide to Setting Your Walking Fitness Goals” for more in depth knowledge on the subject of walking for fitness. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.

Eating After Strength Training

Eating right is important to your strength training success.

Most of us understand how important it is to have fuel in our body before a workout. Carbohydrates and glycogen (this is the energy source which is most frequently used for exercise) are needed so we will have the energy required for strength training.

But did you know that the meal you eat after exercising is of vital importance to your body’s recovery?

This post-exercise meal also helps improve your training capabilities, so let’s take a look at exactly what types of food you should be putting into your body after your strength training workout.

What You Need to Put in Your Body after Strength Training

The first thing you should do immediately after working out is to replace fluids. To determine how much water your body needs for proper functioning, you will need to weigh yourself both before and after your strength training regimen. Then simply drink 20 to 24 ounces of water (or a healthy sports drink) for every 1 pound of weight you lost.

Most athletes understand water is lost during exercise, but not everyone understands just how much is needed to hydrate the body after serious physical exertion.

We mentioned glycogen and carbs earlier, and they also need to be replaced post-workout. Glycogen is a form of glucose that serves as energy in humans, and it is stored in your muscles and liver. You already know that carbohydrates are little blocks of energy, and these two critical components to muscle growth and recovery are provided by eating 0.3 to 0.6 grams of carbohydrates for every pound of your body weight.

You need to eat this meal within two hours of endurance exercises and strength training to get the biggest benefit.

Try starchy vegetables such as squash or pumpkin, sweet potatoes or yams for your carbs. These vegetables are high in healthy antioxidants, and pack more carbohydrates per serving than other foods. Eating within two hours after your workout also helps decrease inflammation that can occur after intense strength training, and allows you to recover much faster.

Include Protein after Your Strength Training Sessions

Protein is also an important food to eat after strength training, and you want to combine protein with some carbohydrate within 30 minutes of ending your exercise. There are many protein supplements on the market that “fit the bill” perfectly well here.

This nearly doubles your insulin response, resulting in more stored glycogen, and quicker muscle development and recovery. You should shoot for a carbohydrate to protein ratio of approximately 4 to 1. Several studies have shown that this carbohydrate/protein intake soon after strength training often results in a 100% better glycogen storage in your muscles than eating carbs alone.

After strength training, you should eat whole wheat breads and rice, as well as the starchy vegetables mentioned above, for your carbohydrate and glycogen needs. Healthy proteins such as turkey and fish will deliver much-needed amino acids into your system, which held rebuild your muscle tissue quickly.

So just make sure to get plenty of fluids, proteins and carbohydrates in the right ratio after your strength training workout to guarantee faster and better results, and a healthier body. You’ll find more helpful tips on the right foods to eat before and after your bodybuilding exercise routines at in our nutrition section.

15 Minute Fitness Guide

Put your exercise plan in play with the 15-minute fitness guide.

Introduction to The 15-Minute Fitness Guide

In our busy lives, it’s often a struggle to find time to get everything done. Inevitably, important things can sometimes drop off our to-do lists or get pushed off our schedules.

For many of us, finding time to exercise is something we know we should do, but it’s often the first thing to get dropped.

Part of the problem may be that we think we need to find an hour or two a day, five or six days a week, in order to exercise. Or perhaps that you have to join a fancy full-service gym in order to have access to the latest and greatest exercise equipment.

Fortunately, the reality is much more forgiving. In fact, it’s possible to significantly improve your health and fitness with 15-minute workout sessions.

That’s what we’re going to talk about in this 15-minute fitness guide.

To continue reading, use the page numbers below or the table of contents to the right. Enjoy!

Sedentary Lifestyle Exercise Tips

Great tips to follow for those living a sedentary life.

Chances are, your job requires a lot of sitting. And thanks to the marvelous advancements which technology has given us, we do not need to be nearly as mobile as we used to as human beings.

We originally evolved as walking creatures, exploring and shaping our world by frequently moving. But for many, modern day “sit down” jobs have joined a remote control equipped, couch-centered home life which has led to a very sedentary lifestyle.

However, there are some easy-to-follow exercise tips for people looking to improve their health and fitness that do not include heavy weightlifting and running marathons. Incorporate the following simple exercises into your daily routine, and you will improve your energy and fitness levels in no time.

  • Doctor David Dunstan, PhD, explains that we must be thinking about fitness all day long. Exercising during the lunch break is great advice, but you need to incorporate exercise throughout the day as well. You can easily do this on the job by alternating sitting and standing whenever you have the chance.
  • And the next time that you need to contact your coworker down the hall, take a walk instead of shooting out an e-mail. You can also stand and even pace whenever you place or receive a telephone call, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and take regular breaks scheduled throughout your day which get you out of your chair.
  • You can also adopt a NEAT attitude, and that does not mean cleanliness and more organization. NEAT stands for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” in this case. People often forget that stretching, bending and turning are all very important for keeping us limber and avoiding injuries, and these simple exercises can be performed all day long by even the most sedentary individual.
  • If you telecommute, walk outside in a sunny park during a conference call. And scheduling a brisk 10 or 15 minute walk in the afternoon close to your quitting time will not only help you become more productive at the end of the day, but also delivers wonderful fitness rewards.

As long as you embrace improving your health, you can turn your sedentary work and home environments into fun and active centers of fitness by taking very small steps. Stand when you can, schedule multiple breaks throughout your day for even small periods of physical activity, and do not forget to stretch and bend.

These simple tips for those with a sedentary lifestyle can have a wonderfully positive cumulative affect over time, and help you reach a better overall fitness level that leads to a longer, healthier and happier life.

7 Everyday Tasks You Can Turn Into A Workout

If you burned only an extra 100 calories a day, that would lead to 10 pounds of weight loss over one year. Ramp that up to an additional 200 calories a day over your current everyday activity level, and you just dropped 20 pounds in a year. But the problem with most 21st-century human beings is not the desire to lose weight and get in shape, it is the lack of having a significant chunk of time in a very busy and hectic daily lifestyle to exercise.

However, you can achieve the weight loss and fitness goals you are striving for by turning the following 7 everyday tasks into simple workout sessions which burn at least 100 calories.

  1. Did you know that simply carrying an infant for 20 to 30 minutes can burn 100 calories? You probably never have thought about your crying newborn as being an alarm bell which can help you lose weight and get in shape, but this mini-workout can do exactly that.
  2. When was the last time that you did your dishes by hand? This is a great task you can turn into a workout, and if it lasts for 40 minutes, you have just burned 100 calories.
  3. Every household usually has a particular person that regularly walks the family dog. But you may want to take this task upon yourself, since a 26 minute walk with the household hound can help you burn at least 100 calories.. Bigger and more energetic dogs simply mean more calories burned, and a better workout.
  4. Give your living room a quick makeover, and not only does your house have a whole new look, but you have just created an awesome new 14 minute workout. That is all the time you need to spend moving furniture to burn 100 calories.
  5. If you live in a cold climate, you no doubt despise having to shovel snow. Not anymore, as a simple 15 minutes of snow shoveling raises your heart rate, and your calorie burning potential, making this previously dreaded task something to look forward to.
  6. And while some people love to cook, at the end of a long, hard day, not everyone wants to prepare the family meal. However, simply cooking for 34 minutes can now be considered a workout as well as a daily chore, and it burns 100 calories to boot.
  7. Finally, 20 minutes of mopping the floor, mowing the lawn or washing your car will also burned 100 calories.

By looking at these common (and sometimes dreaded) daily tasks as opportunities for becoming healthier and a little more fit, your attitude about accomplishing them will be much more positive. Now you can be happy about getting enough exercise when your dog begs for a walk, and mowing the lawn once a week all of a sudden does not seem like such a horrible chore at all since it’s now part of your exercise routine.

Get Enough Exercise

What you need to do is make sure you get enought exercise.

In today’s information society, you probably are well aware that exercise is the hallmark of a fit and healthy individual.

Today’s sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and even deadly, but how much exercise is enough to significantly impact your fitness and health levels? And if you are just starting out, what can you reasonably do to make a difference?

With more than 80% of all Americans getting less than the required amount of exercise every year, it is crucial that you know exactly what you need to do to positively impact your overall health and longevity.

One major study showed that individuals who exercised intensely for 30 minutes per day actually got better health benefits than those who performed the same exercises for one hour a day. This seems to support other studies which claimed that 30 minutes of moderately intense activity or exercise significantly boosts our immune systems, and is the minimum daily requirement for physical fitness.

The good news is that sedentary individuals can break up those 30 minutes a day down into easier to swallow bite-sized chunks. So, you’ll need to set your schedule for three times a day of 10 minutes of uninterrupted, moderate to intense exercises.

Starting Out Getting Enough Exercise

Just be sure that if you are starting out from a very inactive lifestyle, stretch first, and do not overdo yourself. When just beginning, touching your toes, doing deep knee bends, or performing a few jumping jacks will be enough to get your heart rate up.

Also, the average person can briskly walk at a rate of between 3 and 4 miles per hour, meaning a quick paced one mile walk can be accomplished in just 15 to 20 minutes.

Stand More Whenever You Can

This is something which is feasible for just about everyone, and can be added to your work and home schedules easily. But why is exercise so important? The World Health Organization and other major fitness minded institutions have linked breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity and several heart diseases to a sedentary lifestyle that features sitting as a prominent feature. So remember, “Stand when you can.”

If you are getting 30 minutes of medium to intense physical exercise every day, pat yourself on the back. You are doing what is minimally required to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. And if you are not currently getting at least one half hour of exercise a day, it is never too late to start. Get out of your chair and on your feet for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and you can avoid the many dangers which a sedentary lifestyle delivers.

10-Minute Verses 30-Minute Workouts

As busy working professionals, finding a 30-minute block of time each day is not always easy. However, almost everyone can find three 10-minute blocks of time per day. But then the question begging to be asked is “Are three 10-minute workouts as beneficial as one 30-minute?” According to exercise experts, the answer is “Yes” and in many cases, three shorter workouts are more beneficial than a longer one.

10-Minute Workout Health Benefits

There are several health benefits derived from multiple, but short, exercise sessions:

  • increased metabolism
  • heart health
  • weight maintenance

Increased Metabolism

Various studies have shown that three short blasts of intense exercise boosts your metabolism more, and keeps it higher longer, than a long but less intense workout.

Heart Health

And shorter workout sessions benefit heart health too. According to a study done by the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University, fractionated exercising was more effective at lowering high blood pressure than longer sessions.

Weight Maintenance

Short workout sessions are great for maintaining your weight or maybe even losing a few pounds. Because most 10-minute sessions concentrate on cardio training, not only are you burning calories while exercising, but as noted above, you keep burning more calories longer due to an increased metabolism.

30-Minute Workout Health Benefits

While three 10-minutes exercise sessions do have their advantages, one 30-minute session per day works better for some people for these reasons:

  • available time
  • strength training
  • losing weight

Available Time

For some working people, especially those with long commutes, it is actually easier to exercise for 30-minutes during the middle of the day than it is to do it either before leaving for work or after getting home.

Strength Training

Weight training lends itself better to longer workout sessions. One way of burning more calories is to increase your lean muscle mass, but in order to do that, you have to do strength training. More muscle mass means you will burn more calories in a given period of time.

Losing Weight

To lose weight, you have to get your body into the “fat-burning mode”. This usually happens at about 20 minutes into your workout, so you can get a good 10 minutes of “burn” in a 30 minute workout; if you are doing 10-minute workouts, you never get to that point.

Doing Both Workouts

Because a balanced weekly workout should include both strength training and cardio, you can get the best of both worlds by doing three 10-minute workouts four days a week and one 30-minute workout each day on the weekend. That way you get both types of training in a full week and still get one day of rest. We already discussed “6 Reasons Not to Skip Your Workout” and next we’ll dive into “Exercise Tips for Those Who Live Sedentary Lifestyles” and some everyday tasks that you can turn into a workout.

Make Exercise More Fun

Here is how to have fun exercising.

If something is fun, you are more likely to stick with it; exercising is no different. It should be something you look forward to doing each workout day. Below are 4 tips to make your next workout something you look forward to doing.

Exercise with a partner

Not only does exercising with another person make you accountable to them, and harder to skip a workout, but it gives you someone to keep you company. That partner can be your better half, significant other, a personal friend or someone you met at the gym. Also it can be safer if you are with someone you know.

Give yourself a challenge

If you exercise, you most likely have a competitive spirit in you. To make things more interesting, give yourself a challenge. That could be anything from exercising more times per week, to walking/running greater distances, to learning new routines or exercises. Whatever it is, you will have more fun if you are working toward some goal.

Vary your routine

Regardless of what you do, if you do the same thing long enough, you will get tired of it. Exercising is no different; to keep your interest level high, vary your exercises or routine. You should be doing cardio, strength training and taking one day off per week anyway, but instead of doing the same cardio routine, mix it up.

Maybe one day you’ll walk or run; another day ride bike; a third day swim laps or do water aerobics. Even if you have different workouts each day that you exercise, don’t get into the rut of doing the same routine on the same day each week. As they say “variety is the spice of life.”

When strength training, focus on working a different set of large muscle group each time you work out. For example, one day do upper body; the next day lower body. Every once in a while surprise your body, and out of the blue, throw in abdominal core routine. Just like in cardio, you can further mix it up by varying the types of exercises you do within each type of workout.

Reward yourself

All of us like rewards as recognition for accomplishing something. Make it a point to reward yourself when you accomplish a fitness goal. It can be anything as long as it is something you enjoy or can use. For instance, maybe you decide to go see a play when you reach your weight-loss goal. Or buy a new exercising outfit because your old one no longer fits.

Usually you want your reward to support the goal you have achieved, but it doesn’t have to. Maybe your reward for reaching your weight-loss goal is a small dish of ice cream or some other food you have been craving. As long as it is in moderation and you do it only this once, go ahead and indulge – celebrate your accomplishment with something you want and will enjoy.

If you keep your workouts fun, you are more apt to stay exercising. Now go out and enjoy yourself!

Here Are 5 Exercises You Can Fit Into A 10-Minute Workout

Study after study has shown that multiple 10-minute intense workouts throughout the day are more beneficial than one 30-minute less intense one. Not only does it rev up your metabolism better, but it keeps at a higher rate for a longer period of time. But to get the maximum effect from an abbreviated workout, you have to increase the intensity.

Here are 5 non-equipment exercises that you can fit into a short workout:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 15 squats
  • 15 push-ups
  • 15 lunges
  • 15 dips

Perform three sets of each exercise. Take a short 10 second break between each set.

Jumping Jacks

Also known as side-straddle hops, this is the same exercise you did as a kid. From the standing position, arms at your side and legs together, jump up and spread your legs to shoulder-width apart or more. At the same time raise your arms over your head and touch your hands together. Then jump up again and return to the starting position.


The starting position for this exercise is standing up straight, feet shoulder-width apart and arms stretched outward in front of you with your palms facing down. Inhale, tighten your abdominal core muscles and while keeping your back straight as possible, bend at the knees while looking straight ahead. Once your butt is even with your knees, exhale and return to the starting position.


These can be started from the position of either your knees on the floor, or knees up and legs in a straight line with your back. With your weight resting on your arms and keeping your back straight (like you had a board strapped to your back), bend your elbows and lower yourself down to the position where your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position.


From the starting position of standing up, take one big step forward making sure to keep your back straight. Bend your forward knee to about 90 degrees. At the same time, on your other leg, drop the back knee toward the floor, but not touch the floor. Now, push yourself off with your front foot and back to the starting position.


The last exercise requires a chair, bench or other elevated flat surface. From the starting position of your arms behind you, hands resting flat on the elevated surface, your body at about a 45 degree angle from upright and facing away from your elevated surface, bend your elbows and lower your body down until your forearms are parallel with the floor. Now push yourself back up to the starting position.

Between all of these exercises, you get a good workout of your upper and lower large muscle groups in addition to working your abdominal core in ten minutes of time. Perform the three sets in circuit training fashion, meaning to run through all of the exercises one-time before going back to do the first one again, and enjoy the burn!

In the previous 15 minute fitness tip we took a look at exercising while you’re traveling. Next up, we’ll look at “5 Tips for Exercising When You Are a Stay at Home Mom”.

Working out when traveling

Learn these four tips to working out when you are traveling.

Unless you are prepared, it can be hard to stay on a fitness routine when traveling. However these 4 tips can make exercising while away from home easier (and even fun).

So, the next time that you need to travel, there’s no reason to worry about how you are going to stay on top of your fitness goals.

With just a little thought, you may discover that taking a break from your usual form of exercise can actually improve the results you’re after.

Think outside of your usual box and most of all while you’re traveling, have fun with it.

1) Pack for success

Part of being prepared is having the things that you need to keep on your exercise regimen with you. These items don’t take up much room and weigh very little:

  • Exercise clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • Jump-rope
  • Resistance tubing
  • Hand grips
  • Music and headphones
  • Exercise video or DVD

2) Work out along the way

Wear your exercise shoes when traveling. If traveling by air, you can get some walking in while waiting for your plane to load or during a layover. If driving, stop occasionally at a wayside rest or rest area – someplace safe – to get out and walk. If you travel by train, periodically walk up and down the cars.

3) Take advantage of opportunities

Once you are at your destination, look for ways you can exercise. Usually hotel desk clerks can give you directions to trails or parks where you can walk/run. If you have a membership to a nationally known gym, ask if there one by that name nearby or if there is a gym that has guest or a one-day pass that you can buy.

Many of the hotels have their own small fitness centers on-site where you can get on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike or use their elliptical trainer. With the equipment right there, there is no good excuse for not exercising!

Is your hotel room above the ground floor? Take the stairs instead of the elevator! Does the hotel have a pool? Jump in and swim some laps or do some water aerobics.

You can even exercise right in your room. Jump the rope you brought, do some push-ups and crunches, and if your room has a DVD player, throw in an exercise video. If not, put on your headphones and listen to some motivational music while exercising. While watching TV, work the hand-grips.

4) Rent a bike or play a round of golf

If the weather is nice at your destination, consider renting a bike (mountain or otherwise) and ride on some designated bike trails or paths. If you like to play golf, but did not bring your own clubs, rent some and play a round or two of golf while carrying your golf bag.

The point is if you are prepared and motivated to exercise, opportunities abound regardless of where you are. Take advantage of them! Not only will you feel less stressed, but you will be mentally sharper and sleep better.

HIIT Success Tips

Hit the ground running with these HIIT success tips.

HIIT Success Tip #1 – Start Slowly

If you’ve never worked out at a high intensity before, then take it slowly.  You can either lengthen the rest time between intervals or you can begin with only one HIIT workout per week. As your fitness improves, you can decrease the rest time.

HIIT Success Tip #2 – Pay Attention to Your Body

In general, experts recommend around three HIIT workouts per week. Consider taking a “three days on two days off” approach. This approach allows you to rest just about the time that delayed onset muscle soreness kicks in.

If you notice that you’re not recovering quickly and muscle soreness has you struggling to get out of bed or in significant pain, cut back on the HIIT workouts. Also realize that some weeks are just better than others. You might have a week where you’re on fire and having great workouts with little soreness.

The next week you may be able to barely finish your second workout. This is a sign from your body to ease up. Pay attention to it. HIIT won’t do you any good if you’re injured, and pushing too hard or too fast can absolutely result in injury.

HIIT Success Tip #3 – Know What to Expect and Be Prepared

HIIT will leave you breathless and flat on your back on the floor. You’ll sweat, a lot. You may feel like you just can’t continue. This is why a heart rate monitor is a good idea. It’ll let you know if you’re in the zone.

If your heart rate is over your maximum heart rate or creeping close, you know to pull back a bit. Conversely, if you’re only at 50% of your max then you know you’re capable of more.

HIIT Success Tip #4 – Mix it Up

Interval training can become boring. If you’re doing the same workout every single time, you’ll lose motivation. With a loss of motivation comes a loss of intensity. To stay engaged and enthusiastic, keep your HIIT program varied. You might look to a personal trainer or a cross fit blog to provide workout ideas.

HIIT Success Tip #5 – Measure the Results

It can be difficult to know just how much you’re gaining from HIIT. Consider not only taking a before and after photograph, but also track your fitness improvements.

Did you run a 200 in the fastest time yet? Did you manage to achieve 100 squats in your squat Tabata? By tracking your workouts and your results, you’ll be able to watch your fitness improve and the weight come off.

HIIT Success Tip #6 – Listen to Music

Intense intervals are exhausting. You may need all of the encouragement you can get. Motivating music is often effective to not only make you feel more energized, it also tends to distract just enough that you’re not focused solely on the discomfort you’re feeling.

HIIT Success Tip #7 – Workout with a Friend

Finally, consider starting a HIIT workout with a friend. You can keep an eye on each other’s form, compete with each other, and help one another say motivated.

High Intensity Interval Training Can Get You over a Fitness Plateau

High Intensity Interval Training is a proven way to improve both your anaerobic and aerobic fueling systems. If you’re looking to overcome a fitness plateau and want to achieve a new personal record HIIT can be the single most important change to your existing program. You’ll burn more fat, lose weight quickly, and improve your fitness; and you’ll accomplish all of this while spending less time working out. How cool is that?