In this blog post I am going to address the do’s and don’ts of working out. Being physically active plays a vital role in our health. It helps to prevent and alleviate certain chronic illnesses such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Working out also keeps your energy level up, boosts your endurance, and gives you a fit and healthy looking body. In order to have an effective workout, you need to do a few things. I took the liberty of grouping them into seven main steps to give you a better understanding of how to have an effective workout.
- Step #1: Set goals. Have a goal for your workout in mind. Whether you want to drop a few pounds, define your abs, firm up your glutes, or just improve your endurance, you must have a target point. Establish a plan consisting of short term goals that will lead to your long term goals.
- Step #2: Plan ahead. The reason why most people don’t achieve exactly what they want from their workout is because of the lack of preparation. Whatever your goal is, you need to plan your workouts accordingly. Let’s say your goal is to define your abs. A suitable workout routine should include crunches, planking, Russian twists, sit ups, push ups, v-ups and basically anything that engages the abdominal muscles. You will need the appropriate work out gear as well. Comfortable yoga pants, sports bra, tank top or tee if you are a girl. If you are a guy, then loose trousers and a t-shirt would be your fit. Running shoes, socks, and a yoga mat even, are essentials for working out.
- Step #3: Fuel your body. Before you begin your workout, you need to supply your body with the energy it needs to get you through your workout. Eating a light meal filled with complex and simple carbs an hour before your workout will do you just fine. Don’t forget your room temperature water.
- Step #4: Warm up. PLEASE do not skip this step. Warming up is crucial to your performance level during your workout. Warming up activates your entire body systems. It gets your heart racing which means your blood is pumping faster, your lungs are expanding and your muscles are warm due to the increasing blood flow. You may want to jog a little, do some jumping jacks, high knees, tuck jumps, heck why not do some burpees too. Don’t forget to stretch guys. This will help your muscles perform effectively, increase your flexibility, and joint range of motion.
- Step #5: Game time. Let the workout begin! Okay so you’re all fueled up, warmed up and you have your workout plan. You’re totally ready for this. Now crush your workout! Do 2-3 sets of each exercise for maximum results. Do a little stretch in between each set to keep the muscles as elongated as possible to crush the next set coming up. Remember to stay hydrated during your workout. Sip your room temperature water, don’t gulp it. This will help you avoid muscle cramps and stitches.
- Step #6: Warm down. Woot, woot! That was amazing. Okay, so now that your workout is all done, it is time to cool down. Walk slowly for about 2-3 minutes to bring your heart rate down and calm your breathing. Breath in through the nostrils and out through the mouth. Stretch once more. This will help your body to recover better with less pain in order to prepare your body for the next killer workout. Because your muscles were toning it is important to stretch them out in order to get those lean muscles and help combat the soreness. Trust, you don’t want to skip this step.
- Step #7: Refuel. You deserve this meal. You got up and you worked hard. You pushed yourself and now it is time to reward your body for all its hard work. Remember that we love our bodies just as our bodies love us. After all it keeps you breathing, fights off foreign invaders, and heals your body when wounded. So treat it with respect. Don’t go chowing down on any big mac or fat burger. No donuts or cake. After all that work you just did, I’m sure you’re not going to throw it away for temporary pleasures. Instead you are going to eat a nutrition dense meal packed with lean protein and carbs to repair your muscles and supply your body with that energy it needs to carry on with your productive day.
Get active and stay lean lovelies.