For an untrained individual, almost any exercise is beneficial. Integrating a regular exercise routine into your life can help you lose weight, get stronger, reduce stress, reduce health problems,and boost energy. However, many people don't know how to make the most out of their workout. Learn how to maximize your workout benefits with good planning, proper nutrition, rest and a positive attitude.
1. Plan your workout - Before you hit the gym, plan out your workout. Depending on how much time you have available, decide which activities you will focus on. When you know how you’ll spend your time, you won’t waste time hemming over what to do.
2. Remember to split your workouts up for the week - Some people split their body parts into different workout days. Others simply do full body workouts 2 - 4 times/week. Figure out what works best for you and remember to incorporate rest days too.
3. Remember that the beginning and ending of your workout, both are important - Be sure to build in some time at the beginning of your workout for warming up. Also, include time at the beginning of the end of your workout for cooling down your body.
4. Switching up your routine - While switching up your routine provokes growth and ensures that you are getting a well-rounded workout, doing it too often can confuse your body. Don’t do a routine you are not physically prepared for. While the point of exercise is to grow stronger, it is dangerous to expect your body to perform at a level far beyond your current capabilities right away. Most people who start an exercise regime are very motivated and want to work out every single day. However, for the untrained body, start with a more realistic workout routine, such as three days a week, or approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. If you want to lose weight, work up to doing about 300 minutes of moderate activity per week is great.
5. Avoid doing intense workouts without a few weeks of preparation - It may seem like a long time, but spending two weeks jogging before doing an intense run can save you from serious physical injury. Warm up. Warming up your body before you exercise will get the blood flowing and brings fluids to your joints. Remember that if you're about to do an activity, giving those muscles a chance to warm up can prevent injury. When you have properly warmed up, you will reduce the possibility of injury and you will also enhance muscleperformance.
Try this routine for warming up your body:
a) Foam rolling: Use a foam roller to massage different parts of your body. Spend a few minutes working on your calves, quads, glutes, upper back, and lats.
b) Dynamic stretching: This form of stretching focuses on repetitive motion that stretches a body part further each time it is stretched. Some examples include forward lunges and arm circles.
6. Don't train until you drop - Training to failure is unnecessary. Training to failure is when you keep pushing your muscles until they fail, like running until you collapse. Many casual exercisers think that this is a good idea, because it pushes their muscles to the 'max'. However, there is no conclusive proof that training to failure boosts muscle growth. In fact, because it damages muscles so heavily, it may hurt your progress.
7. Beware of overtraining - This could be during a single session or over the course of a week. Your muscles need time to heal and prepare for the next workout.
8. Change up your routine - Most casual exercisers know that the body is very adaptive and will quickly build up a 'tolerance' to a workout routine. You may also grow bored with your regular routine and need a change of scenery or movement. Therefore, changing up your regimen every few weeks is an important part in staying fit. Changing your routine can also reduce the potential to overuse certain muscles and prevent injury.
Easy ways to change your routine are to look up new activities that accomplish the goals you want. For example, if you jog for 20 minutes and do 30 crunches, you could instead do short sprints and jumping jacks for 20 minutes followed by five minutes of planks
9. Stretch after your workout - Plan to spend about 15-20 minutes cooling down and stretching after you finish your workout. Stretching helps with muscle flexibility and pliability. In turn, this can help you in subsequent workouts to push your muscles a little further.
Make sure that you allot time to this crucial step; otherwise you might skip it if you feel rushed.
10. Remember to stay hydrated - You will want to make sure you are hydrated before, during and after your workouts. After your workout, drink 16 oz for every 20 minutes of strenuous exercise.
11. Keep track of your progress - Keeping track of your daily progress will help you stay committed to exercising regularly. Carry a notebook with your workout clothes, so you can track how long you jog, how many repetitions you can do, and so on. You can also use a health journal to keep track of your meals and other factors that impact your exercise and overall health.