When it comes to fitness, just working out sometimes isn’t enough. While staying active plays into your overall health, exercise on its own will is a slow and difficult path to the results you want. So, how exactly are you supposed to be supplementing your workouts for those results? Here are a few ways you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your reps.
Before any workout, you need to prepare your muscles for activity. Begin with a light stretch or a few jumping jacks to wake up your muscles for the work ahead. You don’t need to get too fancy with this warm-up (deep stretching, especially first thing in the morning, can strain your muscles). So long as you’re paying attention to the targeted muscle groups, you’re good to go after just a few minutes!
Hydration, cliché as it may sound, is essential. Many of us don’t come close to drinking enough water throughout the day; men should have about 16 cups of water a day, and women should have about 12. (Or, you can calculate drinking one ounce per pound that you weigh per day). So, if you find you’re well below that requirement, start increasing your daily water intake. Your body will thank you!
Grab the Right Equipment
Don’t underestimate the importance of the right gear for your workout. If you’re a runner, the right shoes can prevent injury or, if you’re a yogi, grip socks will prevent your feet from sliding around during the more challenging poses. Regardless of your preferred workout type, investing in the right equipment is always a good idea.
Have a Snack
This one might sound counterproductive, but in actuality, your body needs those calories as workout fuel. If you haven’t eaten before your workout and your stomach is rumbling, your body doesn’t have enough energy to give its all. Grabbing a quick, healthy snack half an hour before your workout will boost your energy for a record-breaking session.
When it comes to pre-workout snacks and your daily meals, eating healthy is so important. You may believe that working out combats the effects of the unhealthy foods you crave (for example, if you run a mile, you feel less guilty about having a cookie for dessert). But when you’re not getting a well-balanced diet, you’re negating the positive impact of that workout. Eating healthy and working go together, which means that, while the occasional cheat day is perfectly fine, you should otherwise be eating as healthy as possible.
Once you’ve finished your workout, you’re done. Right? Wrong. After your workout, especially after high-energy HIIT or other cardio workouts, you should take the time to cool down and allow your heart rate to return to normal. Again, just a few minutes dedicated to a cool-down stretch is enough here, and you’ll feel much better for it later on.
A solid night’s rest makes all the difference when it comes to your energy levels for the next day. You should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night. If you don’t, your workout schedule suffers. Whenever possible, get at least seven hours of sleep to ensure your body is ready for the next day’s exercises.
Your workout routine isn’t complete when you finish your 45 minute Zoom class. Instead, supplementing your workout with these healthy choices will ensure your body is getting the maximum payoff for the work you are putting in. Once you make these changes, you’ll see the progress for yourself!