As you wake up on Sunday morning, ready to start your day with a hot cup of coffee, you notice something unpleasant. Your pants don’t fit as well as they used to. It takes a deep breath to get your pants buttoned. Even buttoned, there’s not much give in the waistline anymore.

As you slowly jaunt out to get your coffee at the local cafe, you know it’s time. It’s time to start getting healthy, breaking a sweat on a daily basis and watching what you eat.

There is no time more popular to kickstart this ritual of health than the new year. Everyone’s ready to pound the pavement with their new year resolutions. This is the year you’re going to work out more!

There’s just one problem, getting your new workout routine up and running is easier said than done. If you’re looking to get your health back on track in 2016, here’s 3 workout plans to help you get back into shape.

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular, relatively new form of exercise. It requires an individual to complete an exercise at 100%, for short bursts of time. The exercise is then repeated after a short rest.

These exercises can include running for short bursts, squats, burpees, and push-ups.

These exercises force individuals to increase their heart rate and keep it up in a short amount of time. This causes the body to need more oxygen during the exercise and causing a shortage of oxygen during recovery (rest). The need for your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery is what promotes fat loss.

In addition to fat loss, there are three primary benefits that HIIT workouts offer individuals.

  1. Increase Your Metabolism –  High intensity workouts can increase your metabolic rate, which can last up to 48 hours after you’ve worked out. This means you’re still burning fat, after you’ve finished your workout.
  2. Workouts are Fast – Part of the drag of going to the gym is the time commitment. It’s hard to find two hours in your day to dedicate to the gym. A HIIT workout can be completed in 30 minutes.
  3. No Gym Necessary – You don’t need to have an expensive gym membership or a fancy workout equipment in your home to complete HIIT workouts. Often times the workouts can be done with just your body weight.

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training is similar to HIIT. In fact, they are often combined. If you’re looking to get a quick workout in and would prefer to go to the park rather than the gym, bodyweight training is a perfect choice.

Instead of waiting around at the gym for the leg press or arm curl machine to open up, you can workout on your own terms.

Bodyweight exercises you can do are air squats, push-ups, pull-ups, and ab crunches. While these are similar to exercises you might complete with a HIIT program, they don’t necessarily have to be as intense. These are especially good if you’re just getting back into the workout routine.

Bodyweight training has similar benefits as HIIT workouts, like less time consuming and faster fat loss. It also offers these three benefits.

  1. Increased Core Strength – Your core is an important part of your body’s health. Core strength can improve posture and decrease lower back stress. A simple plank can do wonders for your core.
  2. Increase Flexibility – Since you’re not lifting egregiously heavy weights, bodyweight training can help improve your mobility. Yoga is an example of bodyweight training that uses no equipment, but improves your flexibility.
  3. Achieve Better Balance – By using your bodyweight, you have a better sense of your body and how to control it. This will increase your balance, which can prevent injuries.

Circuit Training

A circuit training workout consists of completing a set of different exercises, one after another. After you complete this set of exercises, or circuit, you rest, then repeat.

Circuit training can be split into two different categories, strength and cardio. Strength exercises in a circuit can consist of squats, hang cleans, bicep curls, and shoulder presses. These are typically done with bars and weights.

Cardio circuit training exercises can include jumping rope, mountain climbers, burpees, and jump squats.

Circuit training is popular for three primary benefits:

  1. Full-Body Workout – Instead of taking a lot of time isolating different muscle groups, circuit training can work out everything, head-to-toe.
  2. Gets You Lean – Because of the full-body workout and cardio aspect of repeated exercises back-to-back, circuit training can get you a lean body. No bulking muscles like a bodybuilder.
  3. Small Time Commitment – You don’t need to spend an hour on the treadmill to get a good workout with circuit training. Circuit training is fast and easy.

If you’re one of the many Americans looking to improve their fitness in 2016, try at one of these three types of workout programs. There are many different variations of each. Be sure to find which one works with your level of fitness and is enjoyable enough that you’ll continue with it for all of 2016.

Image Courtesy of Kevin Schmitz

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