Whether you’re hitting the gym, taking a class, or just getting your heart rate up in general, a good workout is always beneficial. But how do you get the most out of your activity and see results faster? Here are seven tips that can help you make the most out of your next session.
1. Set Goals
Setting specific goals help keep you motivated and on track. It also gives you direction and something to measure your progress against. Whether it’s reaching a certain weight, running a certain distance, or lifting more weight than last time, setting achievable goals makes it easier to stay focused and consistent.
2. Mix Things Up
Doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom and burnout quickly. To keep things interesting and challenging, try new exercises or add different activities to your routine (ex: rock climbing or swimming). Doing something different every time will help make sure that each workout is both enjoyable and effective.
3. Track Your Progress
It’s important to track your progress so that you know exactly how far you have come and what areas need improvement. It can be as simple as classic pen-and-paper tracking in a journal, on a whiteboard, or use an app to track your exercise routine right on your phone.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated before, during, and after a workout is key for optimizing performance and aiding in recovery. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so that your body has enough energy for whatever type of exercise you’re doing. It's ok that you go to the bathroom more often! Don't shy away from it; it's part of being a healthy and well hydrated human.
5. Warm Up & Cool Down
Warming up before any kind of physical activity helps prepare your body for what’s about to come by gradually increasing blood flow and loosening tight muscles. Your warmup activity should include movements that mimic exercises that will be in the workout.
Cooling down after helps your body temperature return back to normal levels more slowly. Stopping suddenly without any sort of transition period can increase the risk of injury. So take your time on the way back down.
6. Listen To Your Body
Pay attention to what your body is telling you during a workout; if something doesn't feel right, then stop immediately instead of pushing through. Muscle burn is different than muscle injury, so address the problem and/or modify the movement. Voluntarily stopping for a day is better than being forced to stop for a month due to overworking.
7. Find A Workout Buddy
Having someone with similar fitness goals who can motivate and encourage you along the way makes working out much more enjoyable while also helping keep each other accountable when one person may be feeling less motivated than usual. It's always more fun with friends!
Working out shouldn't be an arduous task. Remember: set achievable goals , mix things up , track progress , stay hydrated , warm up & cool down , listen to your body , find a buddy — take these tips into consideration, and you'll be seeing changes and results much sooner rather than later!