From improved sleep to a better mood, the advantages of working out regularly are hard to pass up. When done right, being healthy can benefit you in all aspects of your life, which might get you thinking: what makes for a truly effective workout?
There's plenty of fitness gurus and programs out there that promise results, but you don't need to be an expert to achieve your goals.
In fact, you can get started with the right gear and enough space! Here are some tips to make any workout more effective.
Remember to warm up.
A good warm-up prepares your body for your workout and reduces the risk of injury. Warm up with cardio or dynamic stretches to increase your range of motion and get the sweat flowing to your muscles.
Include more carbs in your pre-workout snack.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for most workouts. Studies have found that consuming carbs (like a banana or smoothie) before and after high-intensity exercise may improve endurance, minimize any exercise-related immune disturbances, and help you recover faster.
Your muscles are made up of more than 70% water which is why hydration is so important — before, during AND after your workout.
If you're someone who forgets to drink throughout the day, carrying a water bottle can remind you to drink regularly. Don't enjoy water? Try infusing it using fresh fruit or find a herbal tea you like!
Listen to your body and rest when you need it.
Knowing when to rest is just as important as pushing yourself during your workout. Including rest days and active recovery in your routine can help you avoid overtraining or injury. Sleep is also important. When you get a good night's sleep, not only will you feel more energized and alert, but your body has more time to repair and recover.
Make exercise a priority and be consistent.
You don't have to do a one hour daily workout to make exercise part of your routine. If you're short on time, commit to a quick workout. Consistency is key and when you make showing up a habit, and you'll find it easier to avoid excuses.