10 Fitness Tips to Make the Most of your Workout Routine
Tip 1: Always remember to warm-up
A good warm-up prepares your body for working out and can help to lower the risk of injury. It also mentally prepares you for your workout session. Warm up using dynamic stretches or movement to get the blood flowing to your muscles and increase your range of motion.
Tip 2: Include some strength training
No matter what your training goals look like, including strength training will help you reach them sooner. If there’s playground equipment or a bench on your route, you can use this for a quick strength session. One benefit of resistance training is that it can help to make your body more resilient, lowering the likelihood of getting injured.
Bodyweight exercises, like push-ups, step-ups, pull-ups, lunches, or planks can be done anywhere — including at the end of a walk or run.
Tip 3: Include carbs in a pre-workout snack
Carbohydrates are a primary fuel source a variety of workouts. A 2016 study by the Queensland University of Technology, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that consuming some carbohydrates before you exercise can help to minimise any exercise-related immune disturbances and help you to recover from your workout faster.
If you aren’t doing fasted cardio, trainer Kayla Itsines recommends eating healthy snacks like a fruit cup, apple slices with peanut butter, or eggs on toast before a workout. If your pre-workout meal is near your workout time, keep the snack small so you don’t feel sick during your workout.
Tip 4: Keep and stay hydrated
It’s important to be hydrated to make the most of your workout as your muscles are around 70% water! Carrying a water bottle with you can remind you to take regular sips. A simple trick is to drink water every 15 minutes during your workout. If you find it hard to drink plain water, try infusing your water with fresh herbs or fruit. You could even make your own kombucha or drink sparkling water as both supply a healthy source of hydration.
Tip 5: Take your sleep seriously
A good night's sleep can help to maximise the benefits of your training. During sleep, your muscles and nervous system can rest and reset. Sleep is important to ensure that you can perform at your best in everything you do — from your work to your workouts.
Tip 6: Include healthy fats and protein in your meals
When one of your fitness goals is to get stronger, be sure to include regular portions of protein and healthy fats in your meals and snacks throughout the day. According to a 2006 study led by the University of Connecticut and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, protein and fats are important macronutrients for women who do strength training. You don’t have to use protein powder to get results from your training — you can get enough just by choosing high-protein foods. This is true for women who choose to eat plant-based protein too.
Tip 7: Pay attention to your body
Knowing when make a workout easier or rest is just as important as pushing yourself in your training. Remember, it’s consistency that gets results in the long term, not pushing yourself harder or lifting heavier weights on any one given day. Be mindful of your current level of ability and include active recovery when you need more time for your muscles to bounce back from a heavy training session.
Tip 8: Take time to rest
Rest is so important to your workout schedule! A proper rest day can help to boost your performance for both strength and cardio training. Taking rest at the right time can help your body’s immune system stay strong and helps to prevent strain from overtraining.
You might use your rest day to to practice mindfulness techniques to enhance your overall well-being, or check out the sauna at your local gym or pool..
Tip 9: Try to stay consistent
When you start doing any form of training, consistency is the key to improvement.
A 2019 systematic review and literature analysis by the University of New South Wales and published in Sports Medicine found that women who did two to four workouts per week saw an average 3.3 percent increase in lean mass, 25 percent increase in upper body strength and 27 percent increase in lower body strength over an average period of 15 weeks — regardless of how they trained. If you are a cycling beginner, increase your distance and intensity gradually over time. If you are short on time, commit to 5 quick exercises or an Express workout. Make showing up a habit, and over time your excuses will become white noise.
Exercising with friends is a great way to have fun while training and will also keep you accountable to your fitness goals and training schedule. When you know there’s someone else counting on you to show up for your workout, you are much more likely to go!
Take the time to build a solid foundation and before you know it, you’ll start to see positive changes.
Tip 10: Remember to cool down
Allow for 5-10 minutes of stretching after each workout. This can prevent injury and helps your heart rate return to normal after your workout. Taking the time to stretch also gives you a moment to reflect on the workout you’ve just done.