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If you’ve decided you are going to increase your health by working out, you might as well start with how to get the biggest bang out of your new fitness routine. The results make your time and energy spent on every sweaty workout, run, and extra rep so worth it. Here are seven ways to get the most out of your efforts.
1. Set Specific Fitness Goals
Goals serve as the North Star of your exercise routine by giving you a set purpose, keeping you accountable and encouraging you to continue when your initial motivation starts to fade. People’s biggest mistake is aiming toward a broad goal, such as losing weight, instead of listing the specific steps they will take to lose weight. Start by setting a single goal of working out six days a week. Then, after a few weeks of achieving it, add another purpose, such as reducing the amount of sugar you eat daily.
2. Vary Your Fitness Routines
Your mind gets bored doing the same exercises day after day, and your body adjusts to predictable routines as well. Your workouts have more impact when you mix them up regularly. Perhaps do a dance fitness class instead of your usual cardio routine. Add variations to your strength routine, such as holding a plank position with one leg raised or raising the amount of weight you lift. If you’re a cyclist, try running for a day instead.
3. Add Motivating Music
Research shows that listening to music as you workout puts you in a great mood and motivates you to work harder and longer. If you don’t already have some personal favorite tracks to help you work up a sweat, take some new tunes for a spin.
4. Use Fitness Tech
Using fitness tech is another way to keep you focused on your health goals. Fitness apps and smartwatches track your daily results and goal progress. They also offer new challenges for you to achieve and allow you to compete with friends, too.
5. Fuel Your Workouts
The right foods at the right time add fuel to your workouts. Your body uses carbohydrates as its primary energy source, so eating carbs before your training helps you exercise harder and longer for better results. This is especially important if you are active in the morning. Before a morning workout, have a bowl of oatmeal or toast with nut butter to make it go smoothly.
Likewise, protein after a workout stimulates the repair of your muscles and additional carbohydrates restore your energy levels. You don’t need an expensive sports drink to achieve this, as a glass of low-fat chocolate milk gives you all you need to recover.
6. Get Regular Massages
Your muscles get fitter during the time between your workouts, commonly known as the recovery period. Regular massages, especially after a workout, help the recovery process along. Medical research shows massages work to decrease the inflammation in your muscles and help provide energy to your body by increasing the mitochondria at the cellular level.
7. Mind Your Workout Space
You want to get your workout in, of course. But ideally you want to be working out in a room with plenty of space and natural light. If you have a good space, but poor light, consider getting in touch with someone to come out and do some window cleaning.
Following these tips gets your new fitness routine off to a great start and gives you the biggest bang for your workouts. Keep these things in mind as you work this year to achieve your fitness goals.
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