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5 ways to make your fitness routine more effective

POSTED BY MADELEINE BOURNE FOR STRENGTH

We spoke to a host of fitness experts to get their tips on how you can start supercharging your workouts…

As women today, we’re all used to hearing that we need to be doing more. And, yes, the frustration is real.

However, when it comes to fitness, seeing better results isn’t necessarily linked to ‘trying harder’.

In fact, we’re here to tell you that the key to making your fitness routine more effective may actually be to do… less.

From picking up your phone mid-workout to staying on top of your rest, these expert-approved tips are sure to help you maximise your next fitness session…

1. Make small changes

For Haylene Ryan Causer, Olympic weightlifter and founder of Kensington’s Volonté cafe and fitness studio, effective workouts require changes to be little and often, rather than massive target-hitting milestones.

“Monotony and boredom tend to be the main reasons people can’t sustain intense routines, so keeping a little variety will help make your workouts more effective,” says Causer.

“Small changes every now and then allow us to be more consistent and work towards goals with ease and enjoyment.”

While pushing to hit a new target can seem like a healthy challenge, if you find yourself stuck in a rut it’s likely because the pressure is too much and your workout is repetitive.

Approaching your fitness holistically, and noting when your motivation short circuits during a workout, can make your time in the gym more effective.

2. Track your heart rate

Yes, tracking your pulse during exercise can show you where and how you can keep pushing yourself, but tracking your resting heart rate can offer key indications for your fitness, too.

Personal trainer and wellness coach, Lavina Mehta MBE, says: “Tracking your resting heart rate throughout the day can give you insights into how well your body has recovered from a workout.

“Long-term trends can indicate how well you are progressing with your fitness goals, too.”

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Watch5: a nifty bit of kit with which to monitor your heart rate during and after your workout. Offering an inbuilt heart rate and blood pressure monitor*, you can build up a complete picture of your overall fitness so you can understand your body better.

3. Use your phone

Instead of ramming on whatever album you were listening to on your commute, curating what Nancy Best, founder of the Ladies Who Crunch online fitness programme, describes as a “hype playlist” can make your workout more effective.

Perfect for the days when motivation is flagging, loading up your hype playlist will instantly boost your mood – a far better tactic than berating yourself for not doing ‘enough’. Switch songs mid-workout if you feel stagnant.

“Creating a hype playlist that you can put on to get yourself in the mood for moving your body is so powerful,” says Best.

“It needs to include all the songs that lift your energy levels and help you feel empowered, and it should be an ever-evolving playlist to sustain its impact.”

Variety is key here, so make sure to keep your phone updated with new tracks before your original selection of bangers begins to lose its magic. Perfect for the days when motivation is flagging, blasting your hype playlist through your headphones will instantly boost your mood.

4. Try sleep tracking

This is not a drill: we’re granting you some extra sleep. When it comes to fitness, a lot of the magic happens outside the gym and sleep is crucial in letting our muscles repair themselves after exercise.

Fitness trainer Omar Mansour knows how irregular sleep can play havoc with our fitness.

“Make sure you get the optimum number of sleep cycles for your body,” he says.

“A regular pattern of unbroken sleep will allow your body to conserve energy, recover from exercise and build and repair broken muscle tissue from exercising.”

The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 works hard when you’re catching Zs, with precision sleep-tracking tools, snore detection and blood oxygen measurements** combining to offer a four-stage sleep analysis*** and sleep score.

This can help you improve your slumber and, in turn, perform better in the gym.

5. Learn to rest

This is your chance to buck societal trends and do less. The key to success in fitness is to know when to press pause and reset.

“Burnout can lead to fatigue, injuries and hormonal imbalances,” says Causer.

By always being on, you’re increasing your stress levels, which can negatively impact your wellbeing and your workouts.

“Allow time on a daily basis to de-stress and meditate,” says Mansour. “By allowing your mind to be present for at least 10 minutes a day, minimum, you will be able to cut down your stress levels.”

Now, go put your feet up – your body will thank you for it.

Maximise your next workout and track your health and wellbeing with the Samsung Galaxy Watch5. With features tracking the likes of nutrition, exercise, heart rate, sleep and your menstrual cycle, it’s the watch that knows you best.

*ECG and BP feature only to be used by 22 years+. For accurate BP readings, monthly calibration required by GP or BP monitor & arm cuff. Requires a Galaxy smartphone running Android 8.0 or above.

**Factors like vigorous exercise, the amount of oxygen in the air, your elevation, and various health conditions can all result in lower readings.

***Compatible smartphone required.

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