Even if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, make sure every squat, lift and sit-up counts.
With so many pressures these days—demanding jobs, relationships to nurture, social media notifications buzzing every five seconds (and don’t get us started on our email inbox!)—it can be hard to find the time to invest in yourself, particularly when it comes to exercise. Working out isn’t just for your body remember… it is also an endorphin-releasing, mood-boosting, stress-relieving business and should be something you try to prioritise several times a week, even if just for 15 or 20 minutes.
If time isn’t on your side, you can still get a lot out of your workout if you put the right things in place outside of the exercise itself… that way, when you work up a sweat, you know every minute is going to count towards getting the optimum outcome.
Check out our five easy steps to ensure you make the most of every workout:
1. Invest in activewear that doesn’t distract or restrict.
In an age where the athleisure category was worth a whopping USD$97billion by 2016, there is no excuse to wear activewear that rides up or distracts you while you’re mid-downward dog (ah, the case of the dreaded see-through leggings!). There are many brands that are putting some serious thought and investment into the design and fabrication of their pieces to minimise the distractions you face while working out – including moisture-wicking, breathable and temperature-regulating fabrics with maximum comfort being the key objective. Investing in a few well-fitting activewear pieces that are comfortable and good quality will ensure that you can stay focused on your workout, rather than your outfit.
2. What you put into your body is as important as the exercises you’re doing.
Good nutrition is key to getting the most out of your workout and will give you the energy you need to really maximise the time you have and help get the results you want. Fueling your body with the proteins, nutrients and goodness it needs is a large contributing factor to a successful session – have you ever tried working out on an empty tank? We recommend you listen to your body and give it what it needs before your workout, to ensure you stay focused and are using the right sources of energy throughout it.
3. Workout with someone who can push you even harder.
Whether it’s a workout buddy or a personal trainer by your side, having someone to motivate you and push you to your limits is an extremely beneficial way to not only get through a workout, but go above and beyond what you’d normally do if you are on your own. Working out with someone adds an element of fun and challenge to your fitness routine, which helps you to stay motivated in both the short and long run. Plus, it always helps to have a friendly face by your side giving you that extra push when you need it!
4. Keep hydrated.
You might know your body is made up of about 60% water and that water regulates your body temperature, but did you know being well hydrated helps the heart to pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles more easily and also lubricates joints? Water plays and supports many more functions in the body so being hydrated is important day to day but also when exercising, especially if you want to get the most out of your session. Nothing beats classic plain water, but we’ve also added Powerade’s new sugar free sports drink, Powerade Active Water, to our gym bag for something a little different. It’s got added electrolytes – sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium – to help replace those lost in sweat and help keep you hydrated, plus B vitamins for energy. With natural flavours, Powerade Active Water comes in two refreshing options, Lemon or Peach & Apple and Lemon and fits nicely in any balanced diet.
5. Use fitness apps or use a fitness watch.
Technology has changed the way we work out and there are an endless stream of gadgets that enable you to track your personal bests and push you against… yourself. Checking your heart rate, seeing calories burned and monitoring your progress via a fitness accessory is a sure way to increase motivation without even realising and keep tabs on how you’re improving each week or session. Fitness apps are another great way to try new things and expand your fitness knowledge which can help keep your workouts fresh and exciting; check out our favourite fitness apps here to add some variety to your workout life.
Photos: Getty Images and Supplied
This article was bought to you by Powerade Active Water, the new scientifically formulated sports drink from Powerade. With sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium to replace what you sweat out, Powerade Active Water also contains B vitamins and natural flavours, plus it’s completely sugar free.