How to Maximize Your Workout

Working OutWorking out can be a challenge. According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 80 percent of all Americans fail to meet exercising guidelines. Many are confused about where to begin, and those that are already putting in the effort may be struggling to stay motivated. It can be difficult to continue an exercise regimen when you don’t see immediate results. Check out how you can maximize our work outs and make the gains that you’ve been searching for!

Have realistic expectations.

You need to figure out the best time to work out for you. If you’re not a morning person, then don’t commit to getting up early to work out. More than likely the temptation of hitting the snooze button will overcome your desire to be fit and healthy.  If it’s been awhile since you’ve worked out, then don’t expect to bench twice your weight. It’s better to start off slow and not overwork your muscles, than it is to do too much and experience fatigue or injury. And lastly, expect some detours. No one is perfect and behavior change is hard. If you skip a day, don’t give up and eventually great habits will form!

Change it up!

A common mistake that people make when working out is doing the same routine every week. This can lead to boredom, which can just lead to a lack of motivation to continue exercising. Consider doing a different workout every 4 weeks.  Working out should be fun, not a chore.

Form is everything.

Good form and technique is the key to reaching your fitness goals and avoiding injuries. Having poor form and lifting heavy weight is an equation for injury.  Don’t be afraid to lower your weight to focus more on your technique. The better your form is, the more you will be able to lift in the future.

Avoid the chatter.

Gyms and recreational facilities are often social hubs in communities, and after going for some time, you may make several friends. It is easy to become engulfed in conversation but be careful about letting the conversation take over your workout. You may need longer rest periods when doing strength training, but they should be no longer than 2 to 5 minutes in between each set. When focusing on more endurance exercises, you should be in and out of the gym within 40 minutes.

Keep Tracking.

Keep a food journal and record your workouts. Even if you decided to have pizza for dinner and ice cream for dessert, write it down anyways. Just by logging what you eat each day will motivate you to eat better. Keep track of your workouts as well. Once you see how much more you can lift, or how much faster you can run, you will be motivated to do even more!

Speaking of food…

It’s true when they say that abs are made in the kitchen. Eat simple carbs before your workout, and then complex carbs after.  Simple carbs can provide an extra boost of energy and complex carbs can help you continue to burn calories after. Add protein as well to help with muscle repair.

Stay hydrated!

At 2 percent dehydration, your performance is reduced by 10 to 20 percent. Muscles are 75 percent water! Dehydration can also cause fatigue, headaches, digestion problems, and constipation. Try drinking at least a gallon of water a day to provide more energy during your workouts.

Celebrate progress!

Every success, no matter how large or small, is important! Mike Dooley once stated, “The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.”

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