Though the simple act of working out is better than a complete lack of physical activity, there are proper ways to move and fuel your body to maximize your hard work. Understanding which exercises target specific muscles, how food intake affects energy levels, and how to tailor activities to your body can take your workout to the next level.
Whether your goal is building strength or losing weight, you want to make sure every sweat-filled minute counts.
Keep reading for six tips and tricks to make the most of your workouts.
First and foremost, staying hydrated throughout the day and during physical activity is critical when engaging in a frequent workout. During strenuous sessions, quick gulps of water in between sets can replenish any fluid you’ve sweated out, enabling your body to regulate your temperature. Without proper hydration, you run the risk of overheating, leaving you lightheaded with a skyrocketing heart rate.
One way to ensure you remain hydrated is by picking up a high-capacity water bottle like the HydroJug to satiate your thirst while hitting the weights.
Thoughtful meal planning
Though it may not be practical for every person to plan their life around an exercise routine, making slight adjustments to fit in worthwhile workouts and nutritious meals can improve your health. For example, investing in a meal plan or prepping home-cooked courses ahead of time allows you to eat healthy, balanced food without long prep times on busy days.
Plus, planning meals reduces the risk of over or under-eating during the week, keeping you in tip-top shape when strenuous workouts come along.
Use the proper forms
To avoid painful injuries and maximize your time at the gym, make sure you’re practicing proper techniques as you switch from exercise to exercise. Unfortunately, inexperienced gym-goers find themselves over and underworking specific muscles, leading to painful sessions and long-term stress.
To bypass painful mishaps, make sure you study up on proper training techniques and forms, checking in with professionals if you need additional help.
Have a plan of action
Walking into the gym without an action plan can be intimidating—especially if you’re a fresh-faced exerciser. Instead of winging workouts, growing more frustrated as the session drags on, consider planning each trip to maximize every breathless second. By prepping activities beforehand, you can go from machine to machine without distractions, laying it all on the bench before you head home.
Though it may be tempting to whip out your phone while you sweat it out on the treadmill or stair-stepper, distractions can take away from the meditative qualities of exercise.
Think of working out as an investment in yourself and treat it as much-needed alone time. By resisting the urge to check that notification or answer an email, you help your brain relax, allowing your body to tap into active mode.
Choose the right weight
Whether you’re hoping to build bulk or tone muscle, lifting weights is a perfect exercise. Unfortunately, there is a common myth that weight lifting is strictly for men seeking gains when in reality, women utilize weight-based workouts to tighten and firm muscle mass.
The key is selecting the proper size weight, upping the poundage and lowering reps to build muscle, or lowering the mass and upping reps to tone the body.
In the end, consistency is key when it comes to creating a worthwhile workout routine. By fueling your body with nutritious food, setting goals for each session, and sticking to proper forms, you’ll be on your way to a healthy, happy, active future.