Six Simple Steps To Boost Fitness Fast

Do you ever get out of breath whilst walking upstairs, despite exercising regularly? Or perhaps you feel like your fitness levels have plateaued? Aimee Joseph has six simple ways to boost your fitness quickly, enabling you to lift heavier and run faster.

Just a few adjustments to your lifestyle in and out of the gym can boost your fitness, health and training performance. The best thing about these simple yet effective methods is that they can all be performed within an hour. This is important, as testosterone levels in our bodies begin to decrease after an hour of exercise whilst levels of the stress hormone cortisol begin to rise. High levels of cortisol can cause an increase in weight gain, and low testosterone levels limit muscle growth; therefore the following ways to train will bring maximum results.

Step One: HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is never far from a workout makeover plan, and with good reason. HIIT is one of the best ways to increase fitness levels quickly and burn fat. Research shows that HIIT burns adipose tissue (body fat) up to 50 percent more efficiently than low-intensity exercise. It has also been shown to increase your metabolism so that you burn more calories throughout the day. Practice HIIT three times a week for around 20-30 minutes for the best results. Exercise for a few minutes at a time at near-maximum intensity, then slow your heart rate down with low to moderate intervals.

Step Two: Reduce Rest

“Changing the rest period is the same as changing the number of reps, the load, or the amount of sets – it’s an extremely important part of your fitness routine,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS, co-owner of Results Fitness. So try gradually reducing the amount of rest time you take between sets to increase the intensity of your workout and give your fitness a boost. If your current rest time is two minutes, try decreasing it by 15 seconds each week. Eventually you’ll be able to get your rest time down to just a few seconds and you’ll soon notice the difference in your fitness.

Step Three: Squash

Hailed as one of the best sports for fitness, squash consists of constant running, lunging, twisting and turning, which not only benefits the respiratory system but also builds muscular strength and improves flexibility and agility. The benefits are similar to interval training due to the stop and start nature of the sport. If you’re tight for time, just 30 minutes of squash can offer an intense workout, leaving you drenched in sweat yet feeling great due the high level of endorphins released.

Step Four: Cardio Zone

Men tend to separate their cardio and weight lifting routines, but if you combine them both in the same session you’ll get fitter and stronger more quickly. Weight training by itself will build muscle, but that won’t be as visible and defined without burning the fat that surrounds it with cardio training. Combining the two will not only make your muscles stronger and your metabolism faster, but your heart healthier too.

Step Five: Run The Stairs

Every time you see stairs, take two or three at a time. Small changes like this can really help boost your fitness. Research from the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Bath in the UK found that just a few 30 second bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only three minutes a week, could be just as beneficial as lengthy conventional workouts. Putting the effort into running up the stairs will not only increase your heart rate but also build calf and hamstring muscle. Look around you, there’s opportunity everywhere.

Step Six: Super Sets

Super-sets involve doing two different sets of exercise for opposing muscle groups back to back, then a rest of one to two minutes, then repeat. For example, one set of tricep dips then one set of bicep curls. Or work your back for a set then your chest for a set. This is a very simple yet highly effective technique for halving your workout time and burning fat. As your heart rate will be elevated for a longer period of time, it also means your metabolism will be boosted all day. It is recommended you use slightly less weight at first so you don’t lose your form.

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