Do you ever get the urge to hit the ground running, but once you do, realize that you were ill prepared for what lies ahead? Not having enough food, a game plan or specific goals in mind can make your body feel useless! Knowing how to make the most out of your workout will ensure that you see the results you desire each and every time, and in the long run, too.
Whether you’re on a tight schedule and looking for a quick HIIT session, or are ready to rock it for a while at the gym, it’s important to care for your body properly to improve your health and allow you to get the most out of your exercise. Be smart to avoid wasting your time and falling subject to injuries by ensuring you follow through with these 5 ways to maximize your workout.
1. Warm Up
Jumping into an intense workout will only shock your system if you don’t get your body moving slowly, gradually working up to the pace you want to be at. Get your blood flowing and your heart pumping by stretching out your limbs and doing moderate cardio at first, which will reduce your risk of injury and improve muscle performance during the peak of your workout. Be mindful to avoid static stretching before working out, which is actually linked to injury. Opt for walking, adding strides as you go, and incorporating dynamic stretches.
2. Know Your Goal
Want to workout but not sure where to start? Trying to come up with a yoga sequence, a running route, or a routine with the gym machines as you go can cause you to waste time and lose motivation. Knowing your goal ahead of time will allow you to focus on muscle groups and intensity so you feel accomplished when you’re done. Try planning your workout to coincide with your time constraints and fitness level before you get going.
3. Keep Track of Your Progress
If you take on the same routine every day, your body will simply adapt, causing you to plateau. To make sure you don’t stop seeing results, take note of the details of each workout to help you stay focused on adjusting your intensity as you get stronger, faster and more advanced overall. It’s also a great motivational tool to look back on to see how far you’ve come, and how capable you are.
4. Fuel Your Body Beforehand
Not giving your body the proper nutrition it needs to perform at its best is only going to hurt you and your workout. Exercising on an empty stomach will cause your blood sugar levels to drop significantly, causing you to feel lightheaded and sluggish during your workout, which is a waste of your time and a detriment to your health, too. Eating something light and nutritious before you sweat will improve your energy levels and stabilize blood sugar.
5. Limit Workout Time
If your plan is to power through super long gym sessions to give you the results you desire, you may want to think again. Research has shown that the most effective workouts maximize intensity, and can happen in less than an hour. Plus, you may not always have time to block out a solid two hours during the time you need a sweat sesh most, so let go of your need to run, jump, pump and push yourself for hours on end, and get to know the quick and effective ways that will give you the best results.
If you’re a total gym newbie, make sure you don’t make these mistakes when you hit the weight room.