Want to boost your energy? Follow our tips on the best machines to use
If you’re feeling sluggish - and you know there’s nothing wrong with your health - exercise might feel like the last thing you want to do. But it’s vital to get up and out there and start feeling the benefits as soon as you can.
If you really want to boost your energy, you’ll need a workout that mixes up cardio and resistance training.
We took a look at the two main types of exercise - and the best machines to get your heart pumping.
Cardio: any exercise that raises your heart rate for a while.
Why: If you’re eating right, cardio means weight loss. Less weight means more energy - simply because just getting around takes less effort.
Researchers at the University of Georgia found sedentary adults who did 20 minutes of low to moderate aerobic exercise three days a week for six consecutive weeks, said they felt less tired and more energetic.
What: Aim for an average of 30 minutes a day for five days - more if you want to lose weight. Vary the machines you use and the intensity to challenge your body.
Treadmill - It might be a trusty old favourite, but it’s popular for a reason. Its flexibility means you can alter speed and incline at the touch of a button, so you never have to do the same workout twice. And that’s the real secret of energy-boosting.
Elliptical machine - Cardio without impact, the elliptical trainer is good for anyone recovering from injury, or simply not yet ready for the full-on pounding intensity of the treadmill. You’ll still break sweat though, so it’s definitely a good one to incorporate into your routine.
Stationary bike - Of course you can use a stationary bike on your own, but we recommend a good spin class. Exercising with others will shake up your routine, incorporate music and interaction with others that you might never have experienced otherwise. And when you remember that breaking your routine is the key to boosting your energy, what’s stopping you?
Rowing machine - Delivers an intense full-body cardio experience, with the bonus of putting minimal stress on your knee and hip joints. Work with a trainer to make sure you’ve got the technique right and you’ll discover that rowing isn’t all about upper body, as many people think. Instead, drive with your legs and really power those big muscles - perfect for weight loss.
Resistance: anything from stretch bands to weightlifting.
Why: Building muscle (even if it’s just a little) boosts your metabolism - and that means more energy. It also burns more calories than fat, so muscle makes it be easier for you to lose weight and get your mojo back.
What: Aim for at least two days a week of strength training for all your major muscle groups. If you’re aiming to raise your energy levels, go for circuit training-style workouts with moderate weight loading and minimal rest between sets, to keep that heart pumping.
Maintain the weight at a level where you can do 10 to 15 repetitions, repeating your circuit four or five times. Allow at least 48 hours of recovery between working the same muscle groups.
The best machines to focus on include:
Lying leg curl
Seated overhead press
Lower back extension.
Whatever kind of workout you prefer, the key to boosting energy is to make sure you don’t get stuck in a rut. So get out of your comfort zone and set yourself a few challenges. You’ll be zooming along in no time.