Every year we promise ourselves that this is the year when we’re finally going to stick to our workout regime religiously. Yet each year, we lose motivation when it seems like all our efforts just don’t seem to be getting any results. Well, this year try out some of these tips to get your desired results!
1. Exercise with a plan
Fail to plan and you plan to fail! Without a realistic plan and goals to work towards, you will be less motivated to keep exercising. Also planning gives your workout structure and direction, making it easier for you to achieve the desired results. Keep track of your progress with old-fashioned pen and paper or a fitness tracker! That way your fitness progress can be tracked visually, keeping you focused on reaching your targets. Even better make use of InkCase‘s activity tracking function to tailor your own workout to achieve optimal results!
Practice makes perfect! Or does it? Too much exercise can lead to overuse and repetitive-use injuries, such as shin splints and muscle soreness. Besides knowing your limits, varying your workouts can help avoid overtaxing your muscles. Pacing yourself will ensure that you’ll be able to keep to your fitness regime as closely as possible. Furthermore, tired muscles increase the risk of injury as well hence adequate time to rest is just as important. Also the best cure for small injuries is rest so don’t over-exert your body just because the injury is still manageable.
3. Regulate your sleep patterns
While hitting that snooze button may be tempting, it’s really not doing you any favours! Oversleeping or taking a power nap for longer than an hour can cause drowsiness, making it even harder to get moving. If you are feeling a bit sluggish, try starting your workout slowly or doing easy low intensity exercises instead and upping the intensity gradually.
Working out when you’re running on less sleep than usual means that more strain is put on your body to keep everything running. This elevates your heart rate and you get tired even before starting. Furthermore, lack of sleep can impact your balance, metabolism and focus significantly. This will lead to a less effective workout and may even cause injury.
4. Separate your cardio and strength training
Often, people combine aerobic sessions with their strength sessions by simply doing a run as warm-up before hitting the weights. This is actually very ineffectual as your muscles are already tired from the run and your energy is also depleted. As such, it’ll be more difficult for you to finish your workout properly and the strength training will only have limited results.
Keeping your cardio and strength sessions on separate days is a good way to maximise your energy for each training session. Alternatively, try circuit training with shorter sprints. You could also start off small and then gradually up the intensity of your strength training instead of a run to warm up before your strength session. Plan out your training schedule and remind yourself by displaying your training schedule on the back of your phone with InkCase to keep yourself disciplined!
5. Know your body’s limit
We all know that pushing your limits is a crucial part of improving your fitness but pushing yourself too hard will backfire instead and is likely to result in injuries. Know your body and customise your fitness regime to suit your body’s weaknesses and needs. This goes beyond merely avoiding certain exercises until you are better able to handle it but also involves knowing your weak areas and actively lessening the strain placed on these areas. Instead of exercises that could aggravate these areas, try less strenuous exercises so as to avoid stressing these areas.
6. No alcohol 24 hours before a workout
Staying motivated to exercise is pretty hard but doing so with a hangover is even worse. Alcohol dehydrates the body and the dehydration worsens should you exercise with alcohol in your system. Moreover your liver is working hard to break that down instead of burning fat, making your workout less effective. Alcohol consumption may also cause weight gain and impede muscle growth as well, which defeats the purpose of a workout if you’re looking to lose body fat. Last but not least, alcohol impairs judgement and makes it very dangerous to operate gym equipment.
7. Eating before a workout
Having a heavy meal before exercising is a big no-no even though it may seem like a good idea to fuel up before working all that food off. Your body expends approximately 10% of the energy absorbed just on digestion itself. Hence there is less energy available for your workout, making it difficult for you to perform at your best. Moreover, it affects your digestion too, causing cramping and nausea even after your workout. Try having easily digestible fruit full of simple carbohydrates instead like an apple or banana!
8. Warm up
No matter what kind of exercise you’re doing, taking time to warm up beforehand is definitely a must. By doing dynamic stretches like lunges and high knee lifts, the temperature and blood flow in your muscles increase and hence reduces the risk of injury. Your flexibility increases as well, enabling you to do the actual workout more effectively. Moreover, the warm-up gets your endorphins pumping and that naturally keeps you motivated to stick to your workout!
9. Don’t drink too much water
It’s true that drinking water during a workout is important to keep your body hydrated but downing too much water before or during a workout can cause nausea and cramping. This will inevitably bring about a lot of discomfort and cause you to cut your workout short. Curb the temptation to simply gulp water down and sip instead during your workout; you’ll thank yourself for that later!
The best and simplest way to improve your workout experience is to just start learning how to enjoy exercising. Give yourself rewards for achieving goals, get a workout buddy and go have fun!