There's always more to learn

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Q: I exercise regularly but I want to step it up. What's a more efficient use of my time?

A: My specific answer would depend on what your exercise routine already looks like but in general, I suggest incorporating one of two options:


First, start adding bursts of high-intensity work into your existing workout. If you're running 30 minutes per day, start building 3-20 second sprints into the middle of your run. After each, return to your regular pace until your breathing settles down, then sprint again. If you're running outside, it's easier to run to a landmark rather than looking at your watch. If you have a fancy watch, you can program it to beep at prescribed intervals, but running from landmark to landmark is the easiest method. A trick I use to keep my brain focused is to alternate focusing on either stride length or turnover during the sprint sections.


If you're a weight lifter, change up your routine by doing a little cardio between your sets rather than passively resting. Or add 10 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical before and after your weight session. You can also switch your focus one day per week: If you usually lift heavy weights for short sets, go with some lighter weights and increase the reps. Yes this might take longer, but it will work your muscles in a new way which is how we get stronger.


The second option is to look for opportunities during your day to add a new exercise routine.


This is not to say you should necessarily start doing two-a-days (though for some people this is an interesting idea) but rather, be on the lookout for ways to increase your overall daily activity.


There is another post in this section about adding extra walking to your day and this is something I endorse for everyone, regardless of your fitness level. Extra fresh air and movement is so good for every-body.


Other suggestions for adding extra movement into your day might seem a little silly at first, but can be a fun way to build some extra strength and also reinforce to yourself that exercise is a part of your identity.


Consider some of these ideas: do 10 squats while you brush your teeth; practice tree pose while cooking dinner; run up and down the stairs five times before you leave the house for work or shopping; do 10 pushups before logging on to social media (this might cut down on your tech use too!).


Be curious and creative about ways to become more active.


Congratulate yourself when you try something new. Your body and your brain will both appreciate the challenge.