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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Get Creative with Your Fitness Routine

Aug 20, 2019 09:00AM ● By WLMagazine

by Kelsey Emmanuel

Picture this: Last night, you went to sleep later than usual, which led you to hitting the snooze button a few too many times this morning. With your morning plans stumbling a bit off track, you are left with only 30 minutes to spare at the gym if you were to go. You might ask yourself, “Is it even worth going to the gym now?” It’s common for people to want to spend an hour or more at the gym (including me), but don’t let the fact that you are short on time stop you from getting your workout in. You can do a lot with your time at the gym with only 30 minutes and the right type of exercise. 

When You Are Crunched for Time 

When you are short on time at the gym, the most effective full-body workouts you can do are compound exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time, such as squats. Doing a barbell squat engages your full body, including your quadriceps, glutei, calves, back and abs. Focus on your form and decrease your risk for injuries. You would be surprised how fast compound exercises will get your eyebrows sweating and muscles burning! 

When the Elliptical Gets Boring

Rowers, StairMasters, ellipticals, bikes — these are great tools that can add cardio to your workouts, but they can get repetitive after a while. Instead of doing the elliptical for 20 minutes at the same pace, spend a shorter amount of time on your workout machine and play around with the speed and resistance. For example, you can do four rounds of one minute going at a comfortable pace, 30 seconds going at a medium pace and 15 seconds going at a sprint pace. This allows you to work on hitting different
goals throughout your workout. I promise you will be feeling sweaty and accomplished by the end of those
seven minutes! 

No Gym Equipment? No Problem! 

If you have cats or dogs, you are one step ahead of the game! When buying a 30 lb bag of food, buy an extra one. An unopened bag of dog food will give you the opportunity to add weights to your workouts; you can perform different lifts, such as squats, deadlifts, cleans and shoulder presses. The bonus with pet food bags is that they are durable and can help increase your grip strength. Aside from using dog food to incorporate weightlifting in your life, there are so many opportunities for you to be creative with what you have in your own home. You can use chairs for tricep dips, elevated push-ups, and planks. You can use your stairs for step-ups and calf raises. If you have open wall space, you can perform wall sits. The possibilities are endless! You just have to use your imagination, make sure you are being safe and always practice using good form.

Happy Sweats! 

Kelsey Emmanuel is a certified CrossFit Level 1 trainer. Follow along with her workout tips and tutorials on Instagram @kelsey.emmanuel and on Facebook at Kelsey’s Health Journey.