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What Is Ruining Your Workout
Great workouts can result in big pay offs, but frustration can kick in when you feel like you’re giving your all and not getting the results you want. If you feel like your workout is getting you nowhere fast, you may want to take a look at ways you may be ruining your workout.
First, exercise alone isn’t enough. It has to be part of an overall health plan that includes healthy eating. You have to learn how to eat for the kind of workout you’re doing, and it is important to know when to eat what. You’ll need different foods before and after your workout to get the best results. If you master this, you can get amazing results. If not, then you’ll never get as much out of your workout as you could.
Fuel up with complex carbs before you exercise for a steady release of energy throughout your workout. Toast with peanut butter and a banana is a great pre-workout snack. In general, pre-workout meals should be low fat, low fiber and moderate in carbs and protein. If you’re weightlifting or doing any type of significant strength training, be sure you’re getting enough protein to help your muscles recover and grow.
Remember to stay hydrated when working out. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced athlete or just getting started. It’s absolutely critical to get the right amount of water before, during and after you exercise to get the most out of your training. Water is what regulates your body temperature and transports nutrients. Without adequate water you may experience dizziness, muscle cramps and fatigue.
So how much water is enough? There is no one-size-fits all response. Factors include the intensity of the exercise, the outside temperature and how long your workout lasts. According to the American Council of Fitness, you should drink eight ounces 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercising, seven to ten ounces every 10-20 minutes during, and another eight ounces after your workout is complete. Some bottled waters also include electrolytes, making them a good choice if your workout lasts an hour or longer.
Keep in mind that it is important to allow your body to rest when working out. There is such thing as too much of a good thing. When it comes to exercise, you can overdo it. Exercise releases endorphins, making it easy to get “addicted” to working out. It can be tempting to not wait in between workouts and let yourself rest. In addition, some people feel guilty taking a day off, but your body needs time to rest between workouts.
Not resting enough in between workouts can ruin your next workout. You can actually make yourself weaker and may even damage your body. Rest periods help your body strengthen itself. Muscles need time to repair and rebuild. Your body needs time to replenish and store energy for the next work out. So next time you’re tempted to skip your rest day remember, you’re actually making yourself a better athlete by taking that day off to recover.
In addition, you may think doing a hundred sit-ups is a major accomplishment, but you won’t see results from just doing them occasionally. You also won’t get the results you want going hard at the gym once a week. Gaining cardiovascular fitness takes more than running once a week or taking a spin class every weekend. It is definitely better than nothing, but that doesn’t mean it’s always beneficial. In fact, being inconsistent can ruin your overall workout results.
Committing to a regular workout schedule might seem intimidating, but results come through steady effort. Set realistic expectations and commit to at least three days per week of your chosen exercise. If you don’t have time to hit the gym more than two to three times per week, save gym time for weights and strength training and get cardio on your other days through running or cycling. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Furthermore, sleep is when your body does its best recovering. If you’re not getting adequate sleep, it can definitely impact the effectiveness of your workout routine. Most athletes get between seven and ten hours of sleep a night. Sleep is an important part of the recovery process because it’s the optimal time for your body to build muscle. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t fully recover from your last workout. Lack of sleep also makes it difficult to fight those cravings for unhealthy foods.
While it’s important to sleep enough, it’s also important to have quality sleep. Avoid intense, high adrenaline workouts before going to bed. Avoid drinking caffeine in the evenings or at night. Taking a warm bath or shower will also help you relax before bed. It’s also a good idea to limit excessive liquids before you sleep. Finally, a small power nap during the day can help you feel rested if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night.
Losing weight, looking and feeling better and simply being healthy are all big motivators. However, if you aren’t enjoying working out, then you will eventually grow weary and give it up. One skipped workout will turn into two, which will turn into a week. Before you know it you’ll be back to your old habits again. You can beat this game by learning how to have fun working out.
Think about how great you feel, mind and body, after a workout. Every time you want to skip a workout, remind yourself of that feeling. Change into our workout clothes anyway. Once you’re dressed it’s harder to let yourself skip. Also, find something you truly enjoy doing that gets your heartrate up. It may be a team or individual sport. If you hate running, try biking or roller skating. Join a group exercise class.
Keep looking until you find something you can have fun with. This doesn’t mean you have to ditch your traditional workouts, but if you’re having fun you’re likely to stay with it longer and get better results.
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