Take time and listen to your body
Every workout doesn’t need to be your personal best but it should be effective, says Siobhan Byrne
We don’t always have piles of energy and some days we just don’t have that much in the reserve tank to be bouncing around the gym. But I have come to realise that that’s perfectly normal.
Busy work schedules and home life can leave you more lethargic on some days than others, but exercise will always help you feel more energized than just lolling about on the couch.
One of the most important things to remember is to listen to your body. If you are not feeling well or are coming down with a cold, your body will already be fighting to help you battle the cold or virus, so this is not always the time to try and perform your personal bests. For some people it’s better to leave out training altogether until you have recovered enough. The hardest thing for any gym bunny to do is to listen to when the body needs rest and take the body’s advice.
Every workout you do doesn’t need to be a personal best but it should be effective and worthwhile. This is where strength training comes into its own — you may not be up for a long run but you may have enough energy for 20 minutes of weights. Even 20 minutes three to four times per week will help keep your metabolism fired up, benefit your energy levels and help shape and balance the body.
Mixing cardio workouts, such as runs, walks and cycles with alternating strength training days can be great not just for variety but also to help you workout more efficiently while allowing your body to rest in between different intensity workouts.
If exercising at home, you can increase the intensity of your workouts by adding in stair runs. These are one of the best fat-burning exercises you can do at home. Add them into your workout on days when you are up for more intensity. Stair running is great for stamina, quads and strengthening the muscles around the knees. Just be careful and watch where you are going!
Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week