Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Mix Up Your Routine to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

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In this edition of Healthy Living, celebrity trainer Kira Stokes offers up some tips on how to liven up a workout and make every second count at the gym. NY1's Jill Urban filed this report.

Is your workout routine working out? Are you just putting in the time at the gym, but not really the effort? For the best results, celebrity trainer Kira Stokes says it needs to be about quality, not quantity, at the gym. We caught up with her at Equinox Sports Club, where she had some tips on how to maximize your workout. First, she says you need a game plan.

“Going to the gym without a plan is like going to the grocery store without a list. You're going to spend half your time walking around the gym trying to figure out what to do, and you want to make the most of every second that you have. So you want to have a goal and a plan in mind so you can hit the ground running.” says Stokes.

Speaking of running, are you one who just gets on a treadmill or another machine and, like a machine, just starts moving? Well, if so, she says mix it up.

“So don’t get into a cardio rut where you get on that same piece of equipment and go the same pace everyday. You want to make sure you shock your body into shape and challenge your heart just like every other muscle. Step outside your comfort zone. Add some intervals of hills on the treadmill. Add some sprints," Stokes says.

Rather than alternating strength training and cardio days, she says combine them. For example, insert pops of cardio to your weight routine by simply jumping rope between sets. If you’re short on time, try compound movements. Add some upper body work to a lower body exercise. The double duty moves pack more punch.

Another way to get the best out of your workout is to disconnect from the world. All too often we see people sitting there on their phone punching away at an email on the bike or on the treadmill. You need to put down your phone and power down so you can focus on your muscles to power up.

The one source of technology you can rely on is your music.

“Music is a huge motivating factor, and you just need kick-butt songs that actually bring your tempo up and down of your run. You can sprint with the rise and fall of the beat. Use music to guide your through your workout,” Stokes advises.

Lastly, after a workout she recommends eating protein or a protein shake. This will stave off the post-workout hunger and help prevent you from ripping open a bag of cookies because you’re starving.

So even if you don’t have much time, making every second count is the key to a hard core workout.

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