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3 Ways to Keep Your Workouts Working for You
If you are committed to following a regular fitness plan, chances are (like most fitness fanatics), you are always looking for ways to improve your workouts. This may include habits like sneaking in a quick run on the treadmill during your lunch break, going for the stairs instead of the elevator every chance you get, investing in vitamin supplements, and so on.
But did you know there are actually far simpler and cheaper ways to get the most out of your workouts? Here we look at 3 easy-to-implement tips that will help you see better and faster workout results.
1. Include Variety in Your Workouts
One of the best ways to improve a workout is to include variety in your exercise sessions. If you stick to the same workout routines day after day, your body will adjust to them as part of the regular stress routine, and the exercise benefits will come to a screeching halt. Mixing things up, however, continuously challenges the body, thereby ensuring consistent all-around results.
When it comes to switching up your workouts, there are plenty of options. You could go for high-intensity interval training, follow a cardio exercise with strength training, change up your routines every few weeks, focus on the upper body during one workout session and then work the lower body during the next, and so forth. The trick is to ensure that your workout plan incorporates everything from cardio to muscle strengthening to stretching to flexibility training to balance exercises and keep your body from getting too used to things.
2. Aim for Failure with Reps
An effective trick to improving workouts is to train to failure during exercise that requires repetitive motions (e.g., push-ups, planks, and weightlifting routines). This entails repeating an exercise until the working muscles become so spent they cannot complete one more repetition and maintain proper form at the same time.
The upside to exercising to failure is that it boosts the effectiveness of your workouts, thus enabling you to burn more calories and build more strength and muscle mass than would be possible if you were doing 2-3 sets of a workout routine every session. Exercising to failure also helps keep the workout intensity well within your body’s limits, thereby reducing risk of injury.
3. Eat Right
While hitting more miles on the treadmill or an outdoor run, or doing as many reps as possible during workouts are great ways to enjoy fantastic workout results, the food you eat also plays a huge role in either aiding or jeopardizing your fitness. So, if you want to get the most out of your workout routines, you need to be careful about what you put into your body and when you eat.
In addition to the commonly practiced habits of following a low-fat diet to lose more weight, combining weightlifting workouts with a protein-rich diet to build muscles, and taking in fewer calories than you burn, it is also important that you:
Avoid eating before workouts
Whether you exercise at the beginning or end of the day, it is essential that you push your breakfast or dinner to follow the workout. This is because exercise increases levels of the fat-burning hormone adrenaline, thus allowing for better weight loss results. Eating before a workout, however, causes the insulin produced to help with digestion blunt out the spike in adrenaline; consequently, you burn less fat.
Get some protein into your body after each workout
Whether in the form of a protein bar, shake, or a simple protein-rich meal, getting some protein into your system after a workout offers great benefits. Protein increases muscle-building potential, reduces muscle soreness by healing the micro tears that occur during intense workouts, and significantly reduces recovery time. All these benefits work towards boosting workout performance and results.
If you are a serious fitness enthusiast who makes it a point to schedule their day around the gym, the least you could do is to make sure all the effort you put in towards improving your fitness does not go to waste. Keeping these tips in mind will help you maximize the benefits of your workout time. So, put them into action and make every workout session count.