If you’re looking to get into better shape, whether it’s muscle tone, or endurance, or general health, the best way to do it is with regular exercise. The 10 tips below will help you get the most out of your workout and will make your workout time more efficient and effective. Whether you’re just starting out with getting into shape or if you’ve been exercising regularly for years, these tips can help you find new ways to get the most out of your workouts and to enjoy working out more.
1) Look Forward to Working Out
If you’re one of those people who dreads getting to a workout session, look at ways to make your workouts more pleasurable. Get yourself some nice new clothes and take time in front of a mirror to get ready. If you’re going with a partner, try to go out together and catch up on gossip or jokes before your session starts. It might sound silly, but incorporating enjoyable parts into your workout routine can help you stick with it in a healthier way.
2) Pick Out Appropriate Clothes
Your workout wardrobe should reflect how hard you’re going to work, so choose clothes that will make you feel comfortable and allow you to move freely. The more functional your clothes are, and the more they absorb sweat, odor, and moisture—without making you look like a slob or hampering your movements—the better.
3) Find the Right Music
The beat and tempo of a song have a lot to do with how you feel during a workout. Choose your music carefully—you want to pick something that makes you feel good about exercising, but is also challenging enough to get your heart pumping. There are plenty of great playlists online, but don’t be afraid to find what motivates you most and create your own. Mix up different speeds and beats; not only will it keep things interesting, but it will allow you to cover more ground in less time.
4) Eat Before, After and During
The fuel you give your body before and after a workout is just as important as what you eat during, so don’t cut corners here. While pre-workout a banana or other small snack can be fine, there’s no beating a healthy meal, which will provide you with extra energy throughout your exercise. And when that post-workout exhaustion hits and you simply want to curl up on your couch?
5) Never Skip Leg Day
Leg exercises build lower-body strength, a physique characteristic that is often overlooked in gym workouts. The legs are generally weaker than other body parts, which makes leg training especially important. Working your legs will not only help you lose fat, but will also increase your general level of fitness and muscle tone. Leg exercises include squats, lunges and calf raises. So be sure to make room in your routine for these moves!
6) Warm Up Before and Stretch After
Muscle soreness isn’t an indication that you need to ease up on your workout, but it’s a sign that you should stretch and warm up before doing so. Doing these two things will help prevent injuries, minimize discomfort and enhance performance. By warming up, you increase your body temperature and heart rate, getting your blood flowing through your muscles and joints and ready to go. Stretching after a workout helps relax them, decrease muscle tension and alleviate soreness—and it also improves flexibility.
7) Think About How Your Body Feels
As you move through your workout, pay attention to how your body feels. Are you able to finish each set strong? If not, it might be time to start adding more weight or push harder during cardio intervals. If you feel like a champ at every stage, it may be a good idea to mix up your routine so that you can shock and challenge your muscles in new ways. It’s all about progress—which is why every workout should leave you feeling a little bit better than when you started.
8) Take Supplements (Optional but Recommended)
Exercise is a healthy habit that should be incorporated into your life, but it doesn’t always go as planned. If you’re training hard and eating right but still not seeing results, supplements can help fill in gaps that are preventing you from achieving your fitness goals. Consider taking a pre-workout like NO-Explode to boost energy and focus or Creatine powder before/after a workout session to supercharge your gains.
9) Keep Track of Weight Lost and Set Small Goals
The best thing you can do is keep track of your weight and body measurements throughout your fitness journey. This will help you stay on track, motivate you to hit goals, and allow you to see how far you’ve come in terms of physique change. Setting small, achievable goals (such as dropping five pounds by summer) can also help keep things fun while staying focused on bigger results.
10) Have Fun!
If you want to make your workout something you look forward to, don’t take it too seriously. You’re not being graded on how many reps or miles you can do. Keep things fun! Exercise with a friend or turn on some music and dance around during your workout if that will help get you in a good mood. Making time to exercise should be an enjoyable part of your day, so put some thought into ways that you can make sure it stays that way.