7 Ways to Get More from Your Workout


If your workouts need a little encouragement, read on!

By Sara Kendall

 

Not getting as much from your workout as you used to? Do you sense that your results are flat lining? If you are in danger of giving up because of these or similar frustrations, don’t do it!

Here are seven simple ways to improve results and put a smile back on your face.

1. Stretch

When you prepare your body for physical activity you have a broader range of motion and improved circulation. Your performance will improve and there is less chance of injury. Make time to stretch; it’s worth the few extra minutes and the payoff in performance could be big.

2. Hydrate

Even slight dehydration can keep you from getting the full benefit of your workout. Left unchecked, it’s dangerous. Without proper hydration, you may feel tired and miss out on the full benefit of the exercise. Keep a bottle of water by your side and take frequent, regular sips. This keeps your body temperature regulated and your system fueled, both of which enable you to work out to your maximum potential.

3. Get a Workout Partner

A workout partner helps you stay motivated. Find a friend with comparable ability, workout goals, exercise interests, and a similar workout schedule. Casual conversation makes the time pass pleasantly and quickly, and you can cheer each other on when one or the other is not quite up to it.

4. Interval Training

To burn more calories without spending more time at the gym, alternate bursts of higher aerobic activity with lighter activity. For example, if you walk on a treadmill, after your initial warm up, add short bursts of jogging between fast-paced walking. The number of calories you burn will jump considerably. Try incorporating this strategy into any aerobic exercise.

5. Plug In

Listening to music provides a great distraction. It diverts your attention from repetitive movements, so your workout is less of a grind. Podcasts, audiobooks and music can keep you entertained and at times help you forgot you’re in the middle of a workout. There is also evidence that exercising to music increases brainpower!

6. Pump It Up

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns. Start with light weights and build up to heavier ones. Lift weights slowly and smoothly rather than quickly. Focus on form to reduce the chance of injury. You can start by using resistance tubing then move to free weights and weight machines to become stronger and leaner.

7. Protein Shake

Consuming the right calories after a workout can have an impact on your muscles. Soft muscle tears during exercise and since protein is the building block of muscle repair and growth, drinking a protein shake soon after your workout gives your body exactly what it needs to build muscle.

Incorporate these seven ideas into your workouts and you will burn more calories, reduce body fat, and increase muscle. As you become stronger, leaner and healthier, that smile will return to your face. And for very good reason!