Exercise is hard work, even if you enjoy it; it takes a lot of dedication and effort to keep going week in, week out if you want to see changes in your physique and fitness levels. So it makes sense that you’d want to get the very most out of each workout you do so you’re not wasting your time or energy. If you’re new to exercise you might feel that going full pelt and spending hours at the gym every day is the way to go about things, but this just isn’t it true. Actually, taking a more structured approach and ensuring it’s something you can carry on long term is what will yield the best results. Here are some ways to go about it.
Set a schedule
It doesn’t have to be a completely rigid schedule, but having some idea of when you plan on exercising can be helpful. It allows you to slot your workouts into your daily life and gives things some structure, one of the most common reasons people quit is because they say they don’t have the time. The thing is, even the busiest people can often make the time for exercise if they plan carefully and are smart about it.
Include rest days
As well as scheduling your exercise days, be sure to include rest days too. In the beginning when you’re full of motivation you might be compelled to get up and go to the gym every day but it’s not the best idea to do so. Rest days give your muscles a chance to repair and rest, they prevent injury and fatigue and also prevent you getting too bored mentally with everything too.
Mix it up
It’s tempting to find an exercise you enjoy and stick with it, it could be running on a treadmill, cycling or doing a sport. However, over time your body will adjust to the workout and you’ll no longer get as much from it. The muscles you’re using regularly will be strong, but many others will stay reasonably weak, it’s why it’s worth mixing things up. Try and include a mixture of gym sessions, sports, classes such as dance or martial arts, stretching activities like yoga and more for the best results.
Finally, you’re always going to perform at your best in terms of exercise when your body is properly fuelled. A balanced diet rich in fresh produce, lean protein and complex carbohydrates is your best bet. Alongside a healthy diet, vitamins and supplements from standard multivitamins to those designed to enhance exercise performance such as beta-alanine can be helpful. Do your research and find out what you’re likely to need based on the type of activity you do. Runners vs weightlifters for examples will have very different requirements.