How To Make Your Workout More Effective
From improved sleep to a better mood, the advantages of working out regularly are hard to pass up.
When done right, being healthy can benefit you in all aspects of your life, which might get you thinking: what makes for a truly effective workout?
There’s a lot of information available about heart rate zones, fitness gadgets and programs that promise results, but you don’t need to be an expert to achieve your goals.
In fact, you can get started with the right gear and enough space!

Remember to warm up
A good warm-up prepares your body for your workout and reduces your risk of injury.
Warm up with cardio or dynamic stretches to increase your range of motion and get the blood flowing to your muscles. All Sweat programs also offer optional in-app warm up routines you can follow.
Make strength training part of your routine
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), doing strength training two to three times a week can help enhance your aerobic routine by challenging your muscles through resistance.
Strength training can improve bone health and help increase your strength so you can perform daily activities more easily. It can also help reduce your risk of injury.
Strength exercises can still be effective if you’re just using your bodyweight. Push-ups, step-ups, pull-ups, squats, planks and lunges can all be performed anywhere, including at the end of your morning run or walk.
Include more carbs in your pre-workout snack
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for most workouts. A 2017 study by the Queensland University of Technology, found consuming carbs (like a banana or smoothie) before and after high-intensity exercise may improve endurance, minimise any exercise-related immune disturbances, and help you recover faster.
Head Trainer Kayla Itsines recommends healthy snacks like apple slices with peanut butter or eggs on toast before a workout. If your pre-workout meal is close to your workout, keep the snack small to avoid feeling ill.
Stay hydrated
Your muscles are made up of more than 70% water which is why hydration is so important — before, during AND after your workout.
If you’re someone who forgets to drink throughout the day, carrying a water bottle can remind you to drink regularly. Don’t enjoy water? Try infusing it using fresh fruit or find a herbal tea you like!
Prioritise sleep
When you get a good night’s sleep, not only will you feel more energised and alert, but your body has more time to repair and recover.
Train with a friend
Exercising with friends can keep your workouts fun and help you stay accountable.
If your friends aren't into fitness, you could join a gym to be around other people or see if there are any running or walking groups in your area.
Consider your macros
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), protein is an important macronutrient for anyone who exercises regularly, helping improve recovery and promote muscle mass.
Protein powder can be a good way to get more protein in your diet (especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan), but most people should get enough by consuming high-protein foods.
Carbs are important for energy, and healthy fats are another energy-boosting macronutrient that increases vitamin and mineral absorption, and the Mayo Clinic recommends consuming unsaturated fats like avocado, olive oil and nuts.
Listen to your body and rest when you need it
Knowing when to rest or modify an exercise is just as important as pushing yourself during your workout. Including rest days and active recovery in your routine can help you avoid overtraining or injury.
Make exercise a priority and be consistent
You don’t have to do a 45-minute daily workout to make exercise part of your routine. If you’re short on time, commit to a quick workout. Consistency is key and when you make showing up a habit, you’ll find it easier to avoid excuses.
Consistency will help you make progress. Take lifting weights, for example. You might start with lighter weights and as your strength improves you can progress to lifting heavier.
In a 2019 systematic review and literature analysis by the University of New South Wales, researchers found women aged between 18-50 who did two to four workouts per week saw an average 3.3% increase in lean mass, 25% increase in upper body strength and 27% increase in lower body strength over an average period of 15 weeks — regardless of how they trained.
Play motivating music
The perfect workout playlist can be a great motivator. If you’re working out with Sweat, you can use Apple Music and Spotify to stream your favourite tunes or find the trainers’ own curated playlists for every training style.
Wear comfortable clothing
There’s nothing worse than bike shorts that ride up on your daily run, or having sore feet afterwards.
Your workout clothes should reflect your training — clothes that allow you to move freely are best for yoga, or if it’s HIIT, you’ll benefit from a sports bra that provides support.
The same goes for your shoes — you might need more grip for cross-training, extra support for running, and a flatter, sturdier sole for weight lifting.
Pay attention to your cycle
If you feel fatigued during your period, exercising might be the last thing on your mind, and that’s okay. But if you feel up to it, you can continue to train during your period.
It pays to be aware of the different stages of your cycle and how your period may impact your training and energy levels. Be easy on yourself and remember to listen to your body.
Cardio workout tips
Use these tips to get the most out of every session and break down any barriers getting in your way.
Make it low-impact
If the thought of box jumps and burpees is enough to make you roll up your mat and head home, the good news is cardio doesn’t have to cause havoc on your joints.
A low-impact workout can be just as effective! Training styles like barre can still be high-intensity, while cycling and swimming are also great low-impact cardio options.
Sweat Programs including Low Impact with Kayla, Low Impact Strength with Kelsey, Low Impact HIIT with Samantha and Barre with Britany are the perfect place to start as they’re suited to all fitness levels.
Build your fitness with low-intensity cardio
If you’re a beginner or returning to exercise, low-intensity cardio can help you build your fitness.
Moving your body at a steady and sustained pace can also improve circulation and bring your heart rate back down after a tough workout, making it an equally good form of active recovery.
Low-intensity cardio can include anything from walking, swimming or cycling and as your fitness improves, you can challenge yourself by slightly picking up your speed or adding an incline — remembering you should be able to hold a conversation at the steady pace you’ve chosen.
Take your workout outdoors
Walking is one of the most common forms of cardio and a great way to get moving outdoors — who can resist a long beach walk on a warm summer morning?
An outdoor walk is good for you in more ways than one, with a 2013 review by the University of Essex finding exercising in a natural environment led to greater feelings of revitalisation and positive engagement.
According to researchers, it only takes five minutes of outdoor exercise to impact your mood and provide an immediate psychological health benefit. Experience these benefits today with simple changes to your routine like cycling to work or scheduling a lunchtime walk.
Grab a skipping rope
If you want a fast workout that packs a punch, dust off your jump rope. Skipping is affordable, portable and has many benefits. You can jump rope at home, in the gym or while you’re on holiday — all you need is some space and a flat surface.
A simple session might include skipping for 30 seconds, followed by 10 bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, crunches, mountain climbers and planks. Rinse and repeat until you reach a 10-20 minute workout.
If you’re new to skipping, getting your coordination right can be tricky, so practice with air skips and progress to the rope when your confidence improves.
Include interval training
Level up your cardio by introducing interval training, or HIIT. This involves alternating periods of high and low-intensity exercise, which allows you to work at maximum effort for much longer than if you tried to maintain the same pace for an extended period. It’ll get your heart rate up in a short amount of time so you can spend more time on other activities you love!
You can apply interval training to any form of exercise, including running, elliptical, rowing, cycling, swimming and even walking. If you’re outdoors, choose a route with stairs or a hill climb. This adds intensity without having to think about it.
Remember to cool down
Allowing 5-10 minutes for stretching is crucial after any workout, but especially after a high-intensity session. Cooling down helps your heart rate return to normal and can help prevent injury.

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