Whether you’re exercising at home or going to the gym regularly, you want to ensure that every minute you spend and every bead of sweat you produce from exercising counts. Thus, many are willing to try out as many exercises as possible and work for an hour or more just to achieve their fitness goals. But the thing is, working out shouldn’t always be about exercising for long periods or going through pain in order to gain.
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Get The Most Out Of Your Workout
While there may be strenuous exercises that’ll be painful at first, remember that pain isn’t always good. Pushing yourself too much to the point of hurting won’t take you anywhere near your fitness goals. When aiming for your physical goals, you need to focus more on the quality of your workout and not on quantity.
So how do you maximize the benefits you get from every exercise you do? Here are eight tips to help you make the most of your workouts and exercise in the most effective way possible:
Do Strength Training
If you’re already doing cardio exercises regularly, you’re off to a good start. However, some people only settle with cardio exercises and avoid trying out strength training exercises due to the fear of looking too bulky. Others may also hate doing such workouts because the idea of lifting anything heavy is challenging and simply nerve-wracking.
But the truth is, strength training is a crucial part of any workout routine, especially if your goals involve losing weight. Cardio exercises aren’t enough if you wish to shed several pounds. Doing strength training exercises will help boost your metabolic rate, which is crucial to burn more calories.
Furthermore, strength training exercises like weightlifting and dead hang can reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels despite the lack of movement. You can refer to this informative article showing how to execute the dead hang exercise properly, or you can hire a trainer to teach you how to lift weights correctly. It’s advisable to dedicate at least 15 to 20 minutes of your day to do some strength training.
Attend Your Gym Sessions With A Plan
Before stepping inside the gym, make sure you have an action plan in mind. This should consist of a list of exercises you’re looking to do during the session. Having a plan will save you a lot of time from wandering aimlessly around the gym while looking for the next equipment to try or the next exercise to do. The more downtime you have wandering around, the faster your heart rate drops, making your entire workout routine less efficient.
Have a clear action plan of your workout routine for the day so you’ll know what to do, where to go, and in which order you should perform your exercises. It’s also ideal if you have a plan B in case your next equipment is still taken so you wouldn’t have to waste even a few minutes waiting for your turn.
Start Your Workout With Dynamic Stretches
It’s always recommended to do some warmups and a few stretches before you begin with your workout. But instead of the usual stretching in place, switch to more dynamic stretches.
For instance, if you’re going for a run on a treadmill or outdoors, you can do leg swings, knee raises, or five minutes of lunges before you run. Doing these will enhance your range of motion without damaging the elasticity of your muscles and tendons.
Furthermore, doing dynamic stretches will boost your heart rate and body temperature and prepare your overall muscles for the actual workout. So make sure to do dynamic stretches that mimic the activity you’re about to perform.
Blast Your Workout Playlist
One way to spice up your workout sessions and motivate yourself to keep going with your high-intensity workouts is by blasting your workout playlist. Prior to heading to the gym, prepare your earphones and a workout playlist filled with your favorite jams.
Listening to music will help boost your body’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, hormones that are responsible for promoting faster recovery. When your favorite tunes are playing while you’re working out, your body is more likely to recover faster, your heart rate goes back to normal, and eventually, it’ll be easier for you to keep going with your strenuous exercises.
For a better listening experience during your workout, don’t hesitate to invest in high-quality earbuds with amazing sound quality.
Limit The Length Of Your Workouts
Some people believe that the longer you exercise or perform certain workouts, the better the benefits you’ll gain. But in fact, workouts that last for more than 40 minutes aren’t as effective and productive as you might expect. Long workouts will only deteriorate the intensity of your exercise, disrupt your workout technique, and eventually cause fatigue, sprains, and muscle strains.
As mentioned earlier, the quality of your workout is better than its quantity. This means working out at a higher intensity for a short time is much better than working out at a lower intensity for long periods. So, if possible, limit your workouts to 30-40 minutes. Remember: even athletes don’t push themselves too far by working out for longer hours.
During your workout, you lose plenty of body fluids through sweating. However, as you sweat harder and lose more fluids, your workout will feel harder, causing you to reduce your workout intensity and make it more difficult for your body and muscles to recover afterward.
To get the most of your workouts without feeling dehydrated and tired when performing strenuous exercises, remember to drink water before and after your workout. Better yet, make it a habit to drink lots of water throughout the day.
Minimize Rest Intervals
Taking breaks between each workout is okay, but taking rest intervals that are too long could disrupt your entire routine. The thing is, the number of your rest intervals would depend on your body’s capability and the workout you’re doing.
For instance, when doing cardio exercises like jogging, your body delivers more oxygen to your muscles as you jog longer. As a result, you’re more motivated to keep going despite feeling tired. However, suppose you abruptly stop and rest longer than you have to. In that case, your body’s heart rate lowers, and your body totally recovers, meaning your body needs to readjust and restart with lower-intensity jogging.
Meanwhile, if you’re doing strength training, you need to give yourself enough rest intervals for your muscles to recover and be prepared for the next set. Not resting might sprain or overwork your muscles, leading to injuries or body pain.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for one’s health, and it also plays an important role when working out. Poor sleep before your workout could adversely affect your exercise performance and your body’s ability to become stronger after every exercise. So whether or not you’re scheduled for a gym session the next day, always aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
As many of you likely have a busy daily schedule, the time you set aside to squeeze in your workouts should count. So go through these tips to let yourself get the best out of your exercises and enjoy quality sessions each time.