Millions of Americans are currently committed to some type of exercise routine. While any regular physical exertion is a good thing, you may not realize that there are a few simple steps you can take to maximize the results of your workouts and feel your best during your downtime. Here they are in no particular order.
Hydration and Nutrition
It is imperative to properly hydrate yourself in the hours leading up to any workout, especially in a warm climate. Having a bottle of water with you during your routine is also a very wise move. During a workout, your body uses the vitamins and minerals within to propel the muscles, much like a wood-burning stove or a coal-powered train. The higher the foods that you consume are in nutrition, protein and other beneficial elements will go a long way toward determining how you feel during and after your workout.
For decades, athletes got in a habit of extensively stretching before a workout, then simply getting in their cars and driving home once their workout was complete. Over the past decade scientists and trainers have realized that stretching after a workout loosens the muscle tissue and allows the impact of aerobics, calisthenics and reps with workout weights to sink into your muscles, giving you maximum results.
Mix It Up
The number one mistake that athletes make when structuring a workout routine is to do the same thing every time. Mixing up your exercise routine is essential to keeping your body progressing. Folks that do the same routine for months on end will often complain of a plateau phase where they are no longer noticing physical improvements. Mixing up your routine with a variety of workout weights will prevent the plateau stage.
Time of Day
Although mixing the exercise is essential to getting the most out of your workout routine, the time of day that you exercise should be relatively consistent. Work and relationship obligations sometimes take precedent over working out, causing the workout times to vary slightly, but determining if you are a morning, afternoon, or evening exerciser is a good start to getting the most out of your workout routine.
The most commonly overlooked component of a good workout is some restful and regenerative sleep. You may not be in a position to get a full eight hours, but as long as you hit the pillow sober and relaxed, you’ll certainly feel well enough to power through your next workout.
In short, getting the most out of your workout is all about working smarter and not harder. You should also keep an open and observing mind toward what your body is telling you, and feel free to take down notes about things you discover that can help you maximize your efforts.