When you exercise regularly, there are times when you feel like you aren’t seeing or feeling the results you’d hoped for. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or improve your stamina, there are many goals you may want to reach over time. It’s easy to feel discouraged whenever you hit a plateau. We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to give up your goals! No matter where you are with fitness, there are always ways to improve, get better, and get closer to your goals. If you’ve been feeling like you want your workouts to have an extra boost to them lately, this is for you. How can you maximize your workouts and make the most of them? Let’s find out.
Start Lifting Weights
If your main go-to is a workout that involves only or mostly cardio, it’s time to think about incorporating strength training into your routine. You don’t have to go out and start lifting heavy weights or bulk up if you don’t want to. However, doing only cardio won’t get you very far. By doing so, your metabolism will actually slow, making it harder to lose weight. In order to increase your metabolism, you need to start incorporating some weight training into your workout routine. Whether it’s throwing dumbbells into the mix or doing some bodyweight training, doing some kind of strength training will get you back on track in no time.
Listen To Music
Everyone knows how your favorite music can fire you up for a workout and motivate you. In fact, studies have shown that those who listen to music after their workouts recovered faster than those who didn’t. This is because music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, two hormones that are known to help with recovery. Next time you work out, turn on some relaxing music right when you’re done. It will help lower blood pressure and bring your heart rate back down to normal.
Don’t Stretch Before A Workout
Instead, do a dynamic warmup to get your muscles ready to work. One study done saw that those who warmed up with dynamic warmups instead of stretching were able to squat with 8.36% more weight during their workout than if they’d have just stretched beforehand. Their lower bodies were also 22.7% more stable. Doing a dynamic warmup increases blood flow and improves your range of motion without compromising your muscles. Stretching before a workout can actually put your muscles and tendons at risk of overstretching and even tearing since they aren’t warmed up yet.
Eat Carbs Before A Workout
Carbo-loading isn’t just for marathon runners. Eating carbs before a workout can help you through intervals and all kinds of other workouts. Since carbs are the body’s primary fuel source, making sure you have enough before a workout is crucial to fuel it properly. You’re essentially giving your body the energy it needs to really crush the workout you’re about to do.
Another major key to working out is staying hydrated. Losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids can make your workout feel harder, reduce your performance, and reduce the body’s ability to recover after leaving the gym. A lot of people – especially those who sweat more – are dehydrated when they arrive and also leave the gym. It’s recommended to drink 1/2-1oz of water per pound of body weight per day. Weigh yourself before and after a workout to really see how much you’re losing during your workouts. And remember to drink afterward!