Feeling sluggish? Here are the best workouts to boost your energy levels - whether you have an hour, 20 minutes, or 60 seconds to spare!
As life becomes increasingly hectic, it’s easy to get so caught up in rushing around that you forget to make time for your health and before you know it, your energy-o-meter is heading downhill… fast.
This week, we give you a heads up on the best workouts to boost your energy levels, whether you have an hour, 20 minutes, or even just a teeny 60 seconds to spare!
What: Book into your nearest yoga class
Why: Yoga works with the body’s natural energy systems and stimulates both your physical body and your mind to boost energy levels naturally. In the short term, by focusing on the breath as you move through different yoga postures, you get the combined bonus of stress relief and low-impact, yet challenging exercise, which will leave you feeling calm, a little sweaty and very happy. In the long-term, yoga can alleviate back pain, reduce stress levels, increase your physical stamina and make sure your energy levels never dip below ‘bouncy’ again, phew!
How: Find a yoga studio near you and book into a beginners class, or even a full course that you have to pay for upfront, so you’re guaranteed to make the time for it. Yoga can be frustrating at first, particularly if you’re less than flexible but stick with it and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time flat!
What: Sprint session
Why: Not only are sprint sessions easier to commit to than super long runs or cycle sessions (because they’re over with quickly) they are also one of the best stress-busting, energy-boosting workouts you can do… and the effects of a good sprint workout kick in immediately, so there’s no need to wait until session number 10 to reap the benefits. To make sure you’re getting the maximum wake-up call possible from your session, keep the ‘sprint’ part to 15-20 minutes, leaving the rest of your 30 minutes for warming up and cooling down. This is because if you do intense interval work for more than about 20 minutes, you’re likely to get the opposite effect and may need an afternoon nap!
How: Jog to your nearest friendly hill or set of stairs (this is your warm up). Start your stopwatch and time yourself sprinting to the top of the hill/stairs. However long it takes you to get to the top, allow triple that amount of time to make your way back down and have a rest (so if the sprint took you 20 seconds, take 60 seconds to return to the start and recover). Repeat your sprint 10 times, making sure you keep an eye on the clock. At the end, add up all your sprint times and divide by 10 to get your average. Now try and kick your own butt next time!
What: Mini Superset Circuit
Why: It’s quick, it’s tough and you’re guaranteed to work up a serious sweat! Short-burst workouts are where it’s at, particularly for the time and energy poor. Get better results by working in supersets. This will boost energy expenditure during your workout and result in a higher post-exercise oxygen consumption (meaning you burn more fat). The result? A leaner, toned, more energetic you. This circuit is also simple enough to do at home, so you can see results without even lugging your butt to the gym
How: First of all, you’ll need to get yourself a set of dumbbells that suit your fitness level (about 4-5kg for women, or anywhere between 7-15kg for men is a good way to go because you can always just work with one of the weights until your strength builds) and make sure you warm up with a few dynamic moves, like mountain climbers, high knees, trunk twists and lateral reaches. Next up, complete this workout…
Do each of the exercises in the PDF for a full 50 seconds, then take 10 seconds to prepare for the next move. Once you’ve completed all four moves (your ‘superset’), have a quick rest (about 30 sec) before you repeat all four moves again. Complete the entire circuit between 3-5 times, depending on your fitness level and how much time you have.
What: 5 x 1-minute bodyweight challenge sets
Why: Studies have proven over and again that even getting your heart rate up for a measly few minutes will do the trick when it comes to boosting your energy levels and kick-starting your metabolism, so try this challenge on for size if you’re super rushed – it’s a whole lot better than nothing!
How: You’ll need a clock. And you’ll need to do a quick warm-up first. When you’re ready, your challenge is to complete the following three exercises within one minute. Any time left over in that minute is rest time and when the next minute begins, your challenge starts all over again. Repeat 5 times through for a morning energy boost, or up to 10 times if you have a few extra minutes up your sleeve.
What: A handstand
Why: Oxygenating the blood is a sure-fire way to give yourself a mental and physical boost of energy, without so much as a coffee vendor in sight.
How: Simple, do a handstand! If you haven’t tried one of these since primary school, enlist a trusty wall to help you balance!
We hope these workouts will help you feel energised and full of beans, no matter what amount of time you’ve got up your sleeve!
This workout brought to you by LifeStyle YOU and Bottom's Up Social Fitness for Women