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3 Ways to Get a Better Workout and Burn More Calories

By Bob Greene of TheBestLife.com

Did you hit up a Spin class, get in a run, or head out on a hike today? Good job!

Now, did you take some time to warm up, stretch and cool down? These three elements, which would set you back only about 20 minutes, are nearly as important as the workout itself. That’s because they can prepare you for your workout and may also help prevent injuries.

I know what you’re thinking: I just don’t have the time. I’m lucky enough to squeeze in a quick workout let alone all these extras. But I urge you to find time. Doing so will help you get a better workout and burn more calories. In other words, it’s worth the effort. Still not convinced? Take a look at how little time each element will cost and how big the rewards are.

stretch

Warm up

What it is: Light cardio aerobic activity done before a workout

Why you need it: It helps get your muscles ready for exercise. A warm up can be anything from a quick walk or slow jog to jumping jacks or jumping rope.

Time Investment: 5 minutes

Stretch

What it is: A technique that increases flexibility by lengthening or extending muscles. Take a look at my stretching routine if you need some ideas. This should be done after your warm up and before your workout. For more stretching basics, click here.

Why you need it: You get a better workout when muscles are warm and loose. Stretching can also help prevent injury.

Time investment: Aim for 10 to 15 minutes and target all major muscle groups. If you’re really tight on time, you can focus only on the parts of the body you’ll be exercising. For instance, if you’re running, you can stretch mainly your legs and skip your upper body.

Cool down

What it is: Light cardio activity done after you finish your workout. It can be whatever you were doing during your workout just at a slower pace, or something different.

Why you need it: It allows your heart rate to gradually return to normal.

Time Investment: 5 minutes

Do you make time for these three essential exercise elements?

Also Read:

The Big Difference in Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Snacks

How Your Wardrobe Can Affect Your Workout

Be Fit Enough to Fornicate!

October 25th, 2013

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