hw-logoThere are 168 hours in a week — but you need only half a dozen of them to shape up and lose weight. Here are some ways to make the most of every minute.

By the editors of FITNESS magazine

Make Every Gym Minute Count

  1. Just press “intense.” Don’t have that much time to work out? “Try high-intensity aerobic exercise or resistance training [working at about an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10], which can help you burn an extra 50 to 150 calories during the first two hours after exercise,” advises Len Kravitz, PhD, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. For cardio, incorporate several speed intervals; for strength training, do circuits.
  2. Follow the new guidelines. The latest word from the experts at the American College of Sports Medicine: For minimum health gains, do moderately intense cardio (hard enough to break a sweat) for at least 30 minutes, five days a week, plus total-body strength training twice weekly. Want to shed pounds? Bump the cardio to an hour.
  3. Squeeze in a quickie workout . This total-body circuit-training routine from Joe Dowdell, co-owner of Peak Performance NYC, is perfect for days when you feel pressed for time. Do each exercise for about one minute; complete the circuit two or three times.
    • Squat (15 to 20 reps)
    • Lunge (15 reps per side)
    • Push-up (10 to 15 reps)
    • Bridge (15 to 20 reps)
    • Plank pose (hold 30 to 60 seconds)
  4. Fend off gravity at 40+. After age 30, women lose about a quarter pound of muscle mass each year, says fitness expert Kathy Smith, creator of the Body Boomers Workout. “The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn24/7,” says Smith — and the stronger your bones will be. Her basic plan: a challenging weight workout two or three days a week, plus a mix of low-impact cardio, such as walking with speed bursts, cycling, or swimming, at least three days a week for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Drop a size, fast. Take a three-pronged approach, says trainer Alwyn Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California. First, follow a daily diet low in refined carbs (white bread, pasta) but high in fruits and veggies, with moderate protein; aim for about 1,500 calories. Twice a week, do total-body strength workouts (go to fitnessmagazine.com for some ideas), reducing or eliminating rest time between sets. Finally, three days a week, do interval training (alternating four to seven high-intensity levels with moderate recovery periods). Stay the course and you should reach your goal in about four weeks.

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Posted on Aug 10, 2015

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