Most people know what you need to do when it comes to exercising. But after reading this, maybe you can implement some simple steps and tools to help you get the most out of your next workout.
Your workout should have a purpose and a plan.
You need a purpose so that workouts are individualized to your personal needs. Identifying your needs will help you be consistent and stay motivated to exercise. Here are some needs that maybe you can identify with the next time you workout:
- I feel strong.
- I think clearly.
- I have more energy.
The benefit to having a workout plan is to achieve results specific to you. By identifying your personal goals, you will be more likely to stay motivated to exercise and get the most out of your workout. Do any of these goals resonate with you?
- Lose 3 pounds.
- Touch my toes.
- Tone my muscles.
Variety is the key to success.
People are creatures of habit. You find something you like, it becomes habitual, and you stay the course. Even though exercising is really, really good for you, you might be limiting your potential to get the most out of your workout by doing the same workout. Do you get on the treadmill and run at the same speed, take the same spin class and go to the same Pilates or yoga instructor? If so, change your routine. You should not repeat the same workout. Variety reduces boredom, challenges your brain, builds new muscles, reduces injuries, and can help you break through weight loss (or gain) plateaus.
Elevate your heart rate. If you are not elevating your heart rate at least 4 times a week, you are missing an opportunity to get the most out of your workout. When you elevate your heart rate, your heart pumps more blood and works harder. Over time, your heart will become more efficient and will not have to work as hard to pump the same amount of blood. Your heart is like any other muscle in your body. It needs to be taxed, given an opportunity to rest and recover so that it can grow stronger.
Have sensible eating habits. The best way to get the most out of your workouts is to eat well. In my opinion, I believe the diet/workout relationship is 70% diet and 30% exercise. Your diet is significantly more important than your workout. If you make the time to workout, make the time to eat right. Every time you eat or drink something, think about writing it on a post-it note and attaching it to your sleeve. Walk around bragging about what you consume versus hiding the truth about your diet.
Feel the muscle burn. If you do not have a strength training workout routine, get one. If you are not feeling the burn when you do weight bearing exercises, increase your weight, check your form or do more repetitions. When you feel the burn, your muscle is working to it’s potential. Muscles will get stronger in the rest and recovery period and help you achieve a sculpted physique.
Get it done! Every week, look at your calendar and schedule your workout. Life will get in the way and keep you from reaching your potential if you do not make an appointment to workout.
Getting the most out of your workout begins with you. Identify your purpose and plan, change up your workout routine and use these practical tips to help you become the strongest you can be, mentally and physically.
Niccole Maurici, University Park mom of four and former certified personal trainer, is the co-founder and creator of the StrongestMom.com? website and fitness videos, which promote values important to moms: encouragement, support, positive thinking, and dedication. To learn more visit our website strongestmom.com.