Enhancing Your Fitness Outside of the Gym
By Donna Stark
You made the commitment to put in the time and effort to exercise, so you certainly want to see the results of your hard work as quickly as possible. But did you know that the time in the gym is only part of the equation? It’s not only what you do during your workouts that matter, but what you also do before and after them as well. Sure, making that initial commitment to get fit was a huge hurdle and definitely something to cheer about, but now it’s time to take it up a notch and focus on how you can get the results you are working so hard for.
Enhancing Your Workout
There are many things you can do that will enhance and maximize your workout efforts outside of the gym … and they don’t require drastic changes in behavior. Let’s take a look at a few.
- Get plenty of sleep - Your body needs plenty of quality sleep for your muscles to recover. So aim for the recommended amount each night and nap if you need to! You will soon see the benefits of having more energy, less illness, and sharper focus.
- Eat to work out - It really does matter when and what you eat if you are hoping to see great results from working out. It is recommended to eat one to two hours before your workout and also within 30 to 45 minutes after you are finished. You need to fuel your body before you train so you have enough energy to get through it and also so that your body doesn’t burn muscle, and you need a post-workout snack to replenish and restore what you used up.
- Warm-up - A quick pre-workout warm-up is just what the trainer ordered! Warming up will get your blood flowing, reduce the risk of injury, and increase your core temperature so your body is more than ready for the workout ahead. You only need to break a light sweat in this warm-up, so 10 minutes is typically enough.
- Cooldown - After your workout, take a few minutes to stretch, relax, and breathe. If you stretch your muscles and move your joints after each workout, you can reduce the risk of stress and injury.
- Active recovery days - Your body needs time to build muscle, so give it the three Rs … repair, recover, and rest. Just don’t turn those days into complete bed rest, you still want to be active! So go for an easy bike ride, head to a yoga class, or meet a friend for a walk.
Take your fitness to the next level by putting as much focus on what you do outside of the gym as what you do inside. You’ve already cheered yourself on by making a commitment to work out on a regular basis. Now keep those cheers going by achieving maximum results!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.