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How to get the most out of your workouts

Fitness - By Audrey Masitsa | October 18th 2020 at 01:10:00 GMT +0300
Listen to upbeat music as you exercise (Photo: Shutterstock)

It can be quite disheartening when you start working out only to find that you’re getting further from your goals or not achieving them at all.

A good workout regimen should not only help you achieve your fitness goals but should also help you reap the benefits of every rep. If you’re wondering how to increase the benefits of your workouts, read on.

1. Listen to music

Music has been known to pump you up, making you feel like you can achieve anything. Before you start your workout, put on some of your favourite tunes. The more upbeat the better. Keep them on during your workout. They will not only help you feel energised but it will keep your mind focused on something other than the intensity of the workout. Once you’ve finished exercising, listen to more soothing music which will help you relax and recover faster.

2. Eat energy-giving foods beforehand

It’s very important to eat something before you embark on your workout. You need the energy so that you don’t run out of steam in the middle of your session. Carbs like some toast, a cup of coffee or a smoothie will give you the energy and keep you alert throughout.

3. Go in with a plan

Know what you’re going to be doing that day before you start. Better yet, create a workout plan for every day of the week so that you know ahead of time what you’ll be concentrating on on each day. This will help you have an all-rounded workout routine that ensures you exercise your whole body. You’ll also waste less time wondering what to do next. When you take long breaks in between intervals trying to figure out what to do, you’re lowering your heart rate reducing the efficiency of your workout. You want to keep your heart rate up throughout your session.

To keep you feeling energised, keep your body hydrated (Photo: Shutterstock)

4. Have a dynamic warmup

A dynamic warmup readies your body for the workout you’re about to embark on. It is a less intense version of your exercise routine which promises to increase your range of motion. This prepares your body to benefit from each routine that you do. A dynamic warm up also raises your heart rate thus increasing blood flow and reduces the chances of injuring your muscles and tendons.

5. Drink enough water

Sweating is part and parcel of every workout. This means that it you lose more body fluid than the person who doesn’t work out. Keeping your body hydrated ensures that you are energised making it easier to workout. You will also recover faster. Drink at least two litres of water a day to ensure that your body is well hydrated.

6. Mix it up

Following one exercise regimen throughout might be the reason you’re not seeing any progress. If you only do cardio, add strength training to your routine. According to Self, strength training has many benefits. It helps improve bone density, prevents age-related muscle loss and keeps your heart healthy.

In the same vein, instead of stopping completely during your breaks, interchange high-intensity intervals with low-intensity ones. This will help you burn more calories, and help you push your body harder.

Get a workout routine made for you (Photo: Shutterstock)

7. Practice mindfulness as you workout

It’s so easy to find yourself thinking about the day ahead, running through your to-do list as you work out. This can reduce the effectiveness of each rep. Instead, think about each muscle you are exercising as you move it. This will help you make certain that you are exercising the right muscles and that you’re doing the exercise correctly. In this way, you are primed to reap maximum benefits from each of your sessions.

8. Keep a record

Keeping track of your workout routine is just as important as having a workout plan. It helps you see if you are making any progress. Use a notebook or your phone to record the exercise routines that you did, how many say lunges or squats you managed to do, or for how long you were on the treadmill. As you continue with your workout, increase the duration or intensity. With time you will have a concise record of your progress which can serve to motivate you even more.

9. Get a workout tailored to your needs

Personal trainers can come in handy when you have a specific goal in mind and don’t know how to achieve it. They will advise you on the best routines to follow, and many times accompany this with a diet plan, to help you meet those needs. A personal trainer will also keep you accountable since they will push you to give your best.

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