Image by: Rance Costa
By Avril Reyes
Keeping up with any workout plan is admirable, but if you’re really going to make good use of your time you want to make your workout is as effective as possible every single time. To get the best health results, incorporate these important details into every workout.
#1) Make a Specific Plan
It’s not always enough just to head to the gym and spend half your time chatting at the water fountain. Having a set plan of how much time you’re going to be putting in and what exactly you’re going to do with that plan is going to increase the efficiency of your workout. These deletes any time spent dawdling or trying to decide between weights and cardio. Even if you’re just hitting the treadmill today, you should have your time and intervals mapped out before you go.
The good news is you can reuse these plans all the time so it’s not like you have to come up with a whole class worth of material on your own.
#2) Fuel Up Properly
Even if you’re trying to lose weight you don’t want to go into a workout completely starving, you won’t have any energy to get you through the darn thing. You also don’t want to overeat and be cursing that slice of pizza while you’re trying to jump rope. The perfect pre workout snack is going to be some mixture of protein and carbs to keep your metabolism fired up and your energy levels high.
One such example is some peanut butter on crackers, Greek yogurt with some trail mix, a smoothie, or a bit of oatmeal with fresh fruit on top.
#3) Track Your Progress
When you track your progress you will both be able to keep track of how much you’ve already accomplished and also see where you might want to step your game up a bit. Tracking your progress might include how fast your mile is, what your average heart rate is in spin class, or how much you can bench press. It’s really going to be unique to your goals but it is a great motivator to see how you’ve changed and know all your hard work is really doing something.
Tracking your progress of course might also include keeping tack of your weight, but keep in mind when you’re trying to lose fat that you might be gaining muscle, and this will certainly make itself shown on the scale. Some weeks nothing goes and other weeks you see a big drop, so don’t be caught up too intensely in the little variations.
Just keep doing what you’re doing and eating right and everything will be going in the right direction.
#4) Use Good Form
Using good form doesn’t mean just using what’s easiest and works for you, it means following safety guidelines to keep your body protected from over extension and injury. If you’re unsure about what good form is, ask a trainer or other fitness professional, or just look online and find a video to demonstrate whatever move you’re working on.
This can not only make your workout your efficient in the moment, but it will ensure that you stay healthy and safe over the long run and don’t have to take any time off for injuries!
#5) Seek Outside Motivation if You Need it
If you know you have good fitness motivations but they tend to fall short, enlist the help of a friend or two to keep you on track. This might mean actually working out together, or it might mean remaining accountable by checking in when you complete your workouts or when you’re lacking motivation. If you don’t have a reliable real life buddy who won’t be dragging you off to happy hour instead there are some app based online communities of fitness minded people you can connect with as well.
#6) Be Open to Trying New Things
Sometimes the best way to get out of a workout rut or plateau is just to try something new. Of course this requires you giving up your very comfortable position of knowledge and routine but that’s a good thing! You don’t have to be an expert in every single form of fitness that’s out there. Jump into a fitness class at your gym, incorporate some new equipment, or even check out some fitness videos online. Don’t be turned off by your assumption about a fitness style or the people who do it.
If you’ve underestimated yoga for example, you should try it as soon as possible. Switching things up will challenge your mind as well as your body, and we could all do with a little more of that!
Do you follow these fitness tips in your regular workout? Where could you use a little more work? Let us know!