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Make the most of your visit to the gym with these time-saving tips

Bookmark and Share Lack of time is now one less excuse to avoid exercise. Research shows that just 30 minutes three to five times a week has powerful benefits for cardiovascular health and weight control. Begin with a little less time if you're just getting started, like 15 - 20 minutes, and build up to a 30-minute workout.

Whether you have access to a gym or prefer a home or outdoor workout, there's a plan for everyone. Here are some tips to get started.

Cardio benefits
Interval workouts, where cardio intensity is increased and decreased, maximize results in a short period of time.

At-home workout:
  • Intervals of walking and jogging can be done anywhere. Adjust pace and intensity according to how you're feeling.
  • Warm up: 5 minutes walking at a moderate pace
  • 3 to 5 minutes jogging
  • 1 to 2 minutes moderate to brisk walking after jog repeat sequence 3 to 4 times
  • Cool down: 5 minutes walking at a moderate pace
  • The goal would be to gradually increase the jog time and decrease the walk time. Then gradually increase the speed. At the gym:
  • A variety of equipment can be used to maintain interest and to challenge the body and heart. For a gym workout, the goal is also 30 minutes, three to five days a week.
  • Warm-up: 5 minutes walking at a moderate pace
  • 7 minutes on a bike
  • 7 minutes on an elliptical
  • 7 minutes on a treadmill
  • Cool-down: 5 minutes walking at a moderate pace

    Build muscle and burn fat
    Alternate weight-bearing exercises between arms and legs for what experts call "active muscle recovery," and add 30 seconds of cardio in between each set.

    At the gym:
  • 3 sets of 12 lat pull-downs
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 3 sets of 12 leg presses
  • 30 seconds jogging in place
  • 3 sets of 12 bicep curls
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 3 sets of 12 weighted squats
  • Add two more favorite leg and arm strength building, with cardio in between. At home:
  • 3 sets of 12 bicep curls with bands or light weights
  • 30 seconds on mini trampoline
  • 3 sets of 12 squats
  • 30 seconds jumping rope
  • 3 sets of 12 tricep kick-backs
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • Repeat entire sequence.