We’ve covered what not to do before or during workouts, so it’s time some dos. While concentrating on proper form, staying hydrated and listening to your body are all essential, there are a few other tips and tricks to push yourself longer, harder and faster.
To get the most out of your workout:
Find a way to enjoy exercise. While exercise enthusiasts and athletes may have begun working out to achieve a certain end, that’s not why they continued. They found an activity they enjoy, or perhaps they fell in love with that post-workout feeling. Either way, they formed an exercise habit through enjoyment – not just following a set exercise schedule. In fact, fit people have a lot of other habits that you should follow if you’re not already.
Listen to music not just during, but after. Chances are you’re probably doing this already. But just in case you’re not, you should. But maybe even more importantly, your recovery may be boosted by listening to your favorite slow-ish jams.
Sleep. Sleep and exercise have a symbiotic relationship. For one, you’ll improve your sleep quality if you engage in moderate to vigorous exercise 150 minutes per week. Inversely, the quality of your workout will be improved the more (and better) you sleep. According to Shape, lack of sleep will cause a lack of protein synthesis, which causes muscle loss.
Try to give up the weight machines. Unless you’re a beginner, bodybuilder or in rehab, you should transition from weight machines to free weights. With free weights, you’ll engage more stabilizing muscles, use a full range of motion and boost your everyday performance with functional fitness – and these are just a few perks. Plus, you can buy affordable free weights and bodyweight equipment so you can avoid the gym!
Finally, getting the most out of your workout is as simple as switching it up. When you perform the same exercise routine day in and day out, you’ll plateau. You can avoid this by adding intensity (speed, not weight), cross training and decreasing your rest time in between sets, according to Greatist.