There are a lot of ways to get the most from your exercise routine. Start here with a few easy steps to change your body and make your workouts effective.
An exercise routine is a great thing until it becomes too routine. You’re not seeing results, or you have become bored with it. Whatever the reason, it’s time to get more from your exercise routine. There are different reasons to exercise: health, fitness, appearance or even athletic performance. All of these goals require you to have a workout plan, but it should be efficient, and push you to see results. Maximize your workouts with these three tips.
Make a Change
How long have you been doing a split training routine or full-body workouts? Have you been doing the same sets and reps for several weeks? Do you always get on the treadmill for your warm-up and the step mill for your cardio? Well, it’s time to change your workout plan. Sit down and look at what you’ve been doing for the past month or longer. Guess what? Your body is used to this. It needs a challenge, physically and mentally. So, get out of your comfort zone and make a new plan for the next few weeks.
Change your warm up to the elliptical instead of the treadmill, or do a dynamic warm-up that uses your own body weight. Change your sets and rep scheme. If you typically do three to four sets of six to eight reps, try two to three sets of 12-15 reps. If you do one exercise at a time, then move to the next, try doing supersets of two exercises back to back. And vice versa, if you always do circuits, try lifting heavier and rest between sets. The point here is to make a new plan that forces your body to work a little differently so that you can keep seeing progress. While you’re at it, change up your cardio too.
Fuel your Body for Performance and Recovery
If you like to workout first thing in the morning, you may skip eating altogether before your workout. Stop! You don’t need to eat a huge meal, but your body does need some fuel to help it get going. Even if you just have some orange juice or a banana, eat something so you’re not sluggish during your workout.
Nutrition is also key to recovery from your workout. Within about 15-30 minutes of workout completion, you should consume something that includes both carbohydrate and protein. Yogurt with berries, low-fat chocolate milk, smoothie or even a turkey wrap will get you the fuel you need so that your body can heal and change.
Take Time to Recover
For active exercisers, a day off feels like the kiss of death. Well, guess what? You can do some active recovery so that your sensibilities are spared, and so is your body. The day after a tough workout that leaves you sore, go to the gym and do some light cardio for 20-30 minutes. Get your body warm, and keep your heart rate in the lower ranges of about 120-130 beats per minute. After that, find a corner and stretch each muscle in your body. Stretching helps you maintain, or improve, your range of motion. Better range of motion means your lifts will improve as well. Although a day or two a week away from the gym is great, active recovery can aid your performance, and you’ll feel good.