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Only have 60 seconds? Ready to make a dent in your fitness routine? Great! You’re in luck. Here are a few one-minute tips to transform your fitness routine in the new year. And bonus — changing up your fitness routine can help prevent plateaus and boredom!
1. Roll up and out of bed
After your alarm goes off in the morning, work your core and stretch in bed! Instead of sitting up or rolling out of bed, take a deep breath. Bend your knees. Then, pull your naval in towards your spine, and slowly roll up into a seated position. Reach your arms out, straighten your legs and fold forward over your legs for a hamstring stretch. Reach for your toes, and repeat this five times before even getting out of bed! It’s a great way to start the day.
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2. Challenge your core in every movement
Did you know that you can use squats or lunges as a core workout as well as a lower-body workout? At the beginning of each workout, do the roll-up routine outlined above. Connect with your core and feel your abs engage. Spend 60 seconds at the beginning of your workout doing this.
Then, throughout the workout, pull your naval in toward your spine no matter what body parts you’re working! If you’re doing cardio, exercises at the cable machine or holding dumbbells to work your arms or back, keep engaging your core by acting like someone has punched you in the stomach.
3. Decrease weight, increase reps
A quick fitness fix to get longer and leaner muscles is to increase the number of repetitions you’re doing on an exercise — and decrease the amount of weight you’re using. So if you’re used to doing 10 bicep curls with 10-pound weights for three sets, reduce the weight to 5 pounds and increase the reps to 15! Then repeat the set three times. This change may take an additional 60 seconds, but it’s a simple tweak to help build sleek muscles without bulking up.
4. Make a plan
Sit in the waiting area of your gym (or on your couch if you’re doing an at-home workout) with a sticky note and pen. Plan your workout: Do you want to change the order of your exercises today? Would you have more fun doing intervals on the elliptical rather than doing the usual pace or routine? Get excited to create a plan for your workout, and keep the sticky note tucked into your sports bra or workout pants so you can easily reference it during the workout.
5. Foam roll it out
At the end of your workout, instead of static stretching, grab a foam roller and give yourself a massage. You’ll not only loosen up your muscles, but you’ll also be helping to break up fascia which can lead to decreased soreness after a workout.
Stephanie Mansour is a health & fitness expert and weight-loss coach for women. Join her complimentary weight-loss challenge here!