It is no secret that working out/exercising can be (or is!) difficult. You have to exert yourself both mentally and physically to see the best results. However, the benefits of exercise are well-known, but keeping up with your routine can be a challenge. By following the tips in this post, you should ensure (hopefully) that you are fully prepared for an intense workout session!
Find An Exercise You Enjoy
Some people find it challenging to start exercising because they do not know why they should do it. This is especially true for people who prefer not to do things that are considered “boring” or “routine.”
Therefore, if you want to stay motivated and stick to your fitness regime, you must find an exercise you enjoy. Some people might not enjoy running or cycling, but they can still get a good burn from other activities. For example, yoga is excellent for stretching and toning muscles simultaneously. It also has many other benefits, such as reducing anxiety and increasing focus. The benefits of choosing a fun activity are many:
- You will have more motivation to keep doing the activity.
- You will get better at the activity (meaning you will be more inclined to do it).
- It will be more enjoyable and potentially even form part of your social life.
- You will change your beliefs about exercise: replacing negative beliefs with empowering ones.
- Help to adjust your focus: Instead of viewing the activity as a way to lose weight, remind yourself that your body is yours to take care of and that every single decision you make – whether healthy or unhealthy – has the potential to help or hurt you.
- Lifestyle barriers: With an activity you enjoy you are less likely to use lifestyle barriers (e.g. too tired from work or I can’t because of the kids) as a reason not to exercise.
Finally, we also need to create the time to do the activity and have an inspiring space in which to do it.
Prepare Your Body
The 5 Ps: Prior preparation prevents poor performance. This saying is especially important when it comes to a rigorous, or even any, workout regimen. As noted by David Nolan (a physical therapist at Harvard affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital), it is not enough to build muscle and achieve aerobic fitness, we also need to consider flexibility – and this is were stretching, on a daily basis, can help. Stretching can help prevent injuries, improve performance, and reduce the risks of cramps and swelling, for example.
When engaging in exercise, it is important to ensure that your body is supple enough to cope with the rigours that come with your workout. Warm-up exercises will vary depending on what you do, but it is important to perform them and look here to find out why.
Invest In The Right Gear
Appropriate and quality exercise gear can make or break your performance in the gym. Good quality gym equipment helps reduce the risks of injuries, boosts your motivation, and aids in achieving better/faster results. For example, those engaging in intense aerobic workouts should invest in a high-quality pair of footwear. On the other hand, if you are more interested in anaerobic exercises like weightlifting, you should look at gloves, joint supports, etc. If you are unsure where to look, you can use an (authoritative) online resource who are more likely to have your best interests at heart. For example, at Runners Lab they base their recommendations on the latest insights from scientific research. Further, you should always check out online resources that are experts in the type of exercise you will be performing as they will more likely to provide you with correct/appropriate/tailored information regarding the kit you need. Nevertheless, investing in the right/appropriate gear will help you have a better workout experience, so it will pay off in terms of how you feel and how much progress you make on your fitness goals.
Ensure You Are Properly Hydrated
It is generally accepted that prior to exercise you should be sufficiently hydrated, and there are a number of ways to remain hydrated during exercise. Although there are two viewpoints on hydration – either being fully hydrated or drinking to thirst – the effects of dehydration are the same: cramps and muscle fatigue, for example. Sweating will also deplete electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which can exacerbate the effects of dehydration. We can hydrate through drinking water, sports drinks and the food we eat (think fruit and vegetables).
Eat A Small Meal Before The Workout
The importance of eating a small meal before an intense workout has been debated for years, with people varying on what to eat and when to eat it. Some commentators suggest it is more important to have a pre-workout meal, while others say post-workout is better. It is all about the individual’s preference and how their body feels before or after their gym time – just take some time to figure out what works best for you! Maybe try both and see which one helps you perform better during your workout. However, it will depend on what exercise you are doing, with the majority of athletes (especially endurance athletes) consuming some form of energy beforehand to ensure that they can keep their pace.
There is no one way to get prepared for a demanding workout regimen. You need to try different things and see what works for you. When you prepare from the beginning, you will be able to manage yourself and have a great workout.