Don’t Let a Busy 4th of July Weekend Stop You From Working Out. Try These Simple Time-Saving Exercise Hacks
by Nancy Lovering
The holiday weekend is a chance to see family and friends and break from your routine, but that doesn’t mean there’s no time for exercise. A short workout is better than no workout! No matter how busy you are, you can still find ten or twelve minutes for July 4th workouts that let you advance your fitness goals. Won’t it be nice to celebrate the holiday with a clear conscience and a feeling of accomplishment?
Now that you’ve decided not to forgo your fitness efforts over the weekend, your goal is to maximize the impact of your workout while minimizing its intrusion into your holiday plans. You could decide to exercise at some point, or instead, you could set yourself up for success with a plan that will keep you on task, while saving time.
Set a specific workout time.
Choose a specific time for a short workout. Scheduling short exercise sessions is an efficient way to sneak fitness into your day without taking too much time away from other activities. For example, you could plan to exercise in the morning, at the end of the day, or whenever you anticipate having time between commitments.
The best time to exercise is whenever you’ll actually get the workout done. Choosing a circadian-driven recommendation based on a study won’t help if you find yourself too busy or unmotivated at the recommended time.
However, if you have some flexibility with your choice, you'll see that different times of day come with specific considerations.
Morning workouts require a longer warm-up since your body temperature is lower. However, the extra warm-up time is worth it if your goal is to lose weight: exercising early in the day is better for shedding excess pounds. Higher levels of cortisol and growth hormones at the beginning of each day mean that you’ll use more fat for energy. Plus, early workouts suppress appetite, so you’ll be less likely to regain any weight you’ve lost. The benefits of morning exercise also include increased productivity and improved mental health.
Afternoon workouts, fueled by the foods you’ve eaten earlier on, give you renewed energy for the rest of the day. Your body temperature is warmer, which provides you with greater flexibility and muscle strength. Your reaction time is quicker than in the morning, and your heart rate and blood pressure are lower, all of which set you up for increased performance with a reduced risk of injury.
In addition to the usual exercise benefits like increased muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness, evening workouts have the added benefit of reducing your ghrelin levels, a hormone that stimulates hunger. Also higher in the evening is a metabolite called ZMP, which contributes to increased exercise capacity. Try to allow at least one hour between vigorous activity and any attempts at sleep.
As you can see, any time to exercise is a good time! What matters is that the schedule you create is one that works for you.
Have a workout plan that includes both strength training and cardio exercises.
Strength training and cardio are important. Just because you’re planning a quick workout doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice one at the expense of the other. Include both in your plan to reap the benefits of each.
Strength training helps you maintain the lean muscle mass that naturally diminishes as you age. It also builds bone mass by stressing bones to trigger activity in bone-forming cells. Plus, correct posture with a balanced and strong core stabilizes your spine and reduces your risk of back injury or pain. Your joints also benefit from a strength training program that targets opposing muscle groups. Muscles and tendons hold your body in correct alignment to protect your joints, an arrangement that's most effective when you don’t have a relative weakness in a muscle group.
Not only does cardio keep you lean and fit, but it also helps to reduce your vulnerability to viral illnesses, manage chronic conditions, strengthen your heart, clear your blood vessels, and even boost your mood.
As you move large muscle groups, your respiration increases to deliver more oxygen to your blood. Your increased heart rate means that your circulation works faster to take that oxygen to the tissues that need it and, in turn, carry away metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. To top it off, you’ll also benefit from increased endorphins that act as painkillers and improve your frame of mind.
The TriadXP app allows you to include strength training and cardio, so you can customize workouts to include only the exercises you want. Choose the number of reps that you need and personalize your targets.
To get started, check out our selection of quick workouts. We have a copious selection of exercise sessions, and many are under 20 minutes to accommodate your busy schedule. Browse through them now and make any changes you want, so you can have a short and customized workout ready when you need it.
Here’s an example of a guided PHA workout routine that you can track and modify with TriadXP:
Warm-up: 5 minutes
Rest: 30 seconds
- Push-ups: 12 reps
- Air squats: 10 to 12 reps
- Inverted rows: 10 to 12 reps
- Step-ups: 5 minutes
- Rest: 1 minute
- Repeat circuit based on available time
You can see that it’s straightforward, includes your upper and lower body, and doesn’t take a lot of time – about 12 minutes the first time through with the 5-minute warm-up. So even if you only have time to do the circuit once, you’ve still achieved your goal of being active. Just as important, you’ve maintained the habit of exercise.
Your TriadXP app lets you access premium content and workout guidance from elite-level fitness experts and celebrity trainers. Choose from the likes of Dragon Door, Hatherleigh, Stew Smith, Sean Vigue, Clinton Dobbins, Laura Tarbell, and more. Search our store for world-famous workouts such as:
- The Simple Six
- Get Strong
- Convict Conditioning
- Pilates for Athletes
- 101 Pyramid Workouts
There’s lots more to choose from, so browse our comprehensive selection to find the workouts that are right for you.
Track your time to be efficient.
Workout tracking is the answer to achieve consistency, monitor progress, and improve efficiency. The TriadXP app provides convenience by taking care of your tracking for you.
Tracking compensates for the natural variability in energy that can make it tricky to know if your workout is complete. On some days you feel like you could exercise forever, and other days you feel done soon after you start. Tracking lets you know where you stand compared to your previous days’ efforts.
Monitoring your progress is not just motivating. It also helps you plan your future fitness journey by building on your past achievements. Tracking gives you a complete picture of where you’ve been and where you stand, as well as a roadmap for where you’re headed.
Tracking is also an excellent efficiency tool for when your life gets too busy for workout design and analysis. Just pick up where you left off, choose and execute a favorite quick workout, and get on with the rest of your day.
Celebrate and enjoy the holiday!
Now that you’ve decided to include health and fitness in your weekend plans, you can celebrate the holiday without the regret of a setback. With these July 4th workouts, you’ve achieved a balance between your fitness ambition and the gratifying leisure time you need.
Head over to TriadXP.com now to snag your world-famous training program and let’s get moving!
Nancy Lovering is a health and wellness writer, former runner, and avid fitness enthusiast.