Too busy to hit the gym or source a fitness session? Simply heed these tips to learn how to create an effective workout routine that you can do at home. Time to be your own PT…

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1. Get in the zone

Are you working out at the right intensity? There are three essential elements you need to consider if you are to reach your fitness goals: frequency (four-to-five times a week), time (between 20 and 60 minutes) and intensity. Most people get the frequency and time right, but the intensity wrong. Follow the guide to training below to work at the optimum intensity, and make sure you achieve the results you are looking for.

Level 1-3 (ideal for warm-ups)

Easy to moderate – when training at this level, you should easily be able to hold a conversation. This is the intensity required for a warm-up.

Level 4-7 (great for steady cardio workouts)

At this level, you’ll be sweating, and only able to answer a question with one word. Work at this intensity for longer efforts to increase fitness and reduce fat.

Level 8-10 (perfect for high-intensity intervals)

This level is tough, you shouldn’t be able to talk at all. Use it for short 20-40 second bursts to burn fat, boost metabolic rate and give your body a challenge.

woman creating home workout routine with dumbbells

2. Try circuit training

Ever wondered why personal trainers go to such great lengths to liven up fitness sessions? Whether it’s new kit or unusual methods, excitement is key to getting results. After all, enjoy a workout and you’re more likely to try it again, as well as give it your all. Here are three ways to fire up the fun factor of exercise by creating a circuit-style workout.

Aerobic fun

For your cardiovascular exercises, choose something that will increase your heart rate and involve lots of muscle groups, such as skipping, hopping, star jumps, burpees, step-ups, jumping lunges, knee lifts and dance-inspired moves. Write down the name of each move on sheets of paper. Aim for between four and 10 exercises. This is the first half of your home-circuit class.

Feeling strong

Flick through the exercise pages of this magazine and build a list of strength moves. Focus on areas you want to tone and moves that cover all areas of the body (chest, legs, back, shoulders, arms). Write a list of your chosen exercises on cards. Aim for four to 10 moves. This is the second half of your circuit.

Mix it up

Now it’s time to turn your front room into a gym. Clear some space and spread your exercise cards around the room, alternating between aerobic and strength moves. Turn the music up loud and do each exercise for one minute, before moving to the next station.

Always have a minimum of eight cards and repeat the circuit twice, to create a 16-minute workout. When you need to up the intensity, add more cards to your workout or 10 seconds to each station.

Top tip: Rev up your heart rate by reducing the rest between sets for a fat-blasting workout.

woman home workout routine

3. Make time for movement

With school runs, shopping, housework and the never-ending to-do list, the right workout can seem a mammoth task. The result? Your trainers get relegated to the back of the wardrobe while you hold together everything else life throws at you.

But here’s the good news – there are some easy ways to sneak fitness into your life. The following workouts don’t take longer than 15 minutes. Do them several times a week, as part of your fitness plan, to de-stress, re-energise and look fab.

Music-fuelled fat burner

Skipping ropes are a great full-body workout, so put on some upbeat music and skip for two songs – you’ll burn up to 250 calories! Or, if the kids have a hula hoop, give it a whirl for two tracks for a super-sculpted hourglass shape – hula hooping is great for nipping you in at the waist.

Double-duty domestic session

Turn housework chores into a fitness and fat-burning session. The key is to make it fast and fun, and use big moves that target your muscles – power lunge as you vacuum or change the bedding as fast as you can. The bigger and faster the move, the bigger the benefit!

Six-minute metabolic booster

This simple workout targets your whole body, quickly!

  1. Jog up and down the stairs – 1 minute
  2. Side lunge- 1 minute
  3. Jog up and down the stairs – 1 minute
  4. Romanian deadlift – 1 minute
  5. Jog up and down the stairs – 1 minute
  6. Ball crunches – 1 minute

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