By Melissa Waterson
Getting a Head Start For Your Workout
The holidays are approaching, and if you want to look your absolute best for all of those festive parties then it’s time to get up and get moving! Been a while since your last work out, or looking to get more out of your workout routine? Then it pays to get prepared. If you want to get the most out of your work out then you need to prepare your body nutritionally, and prepare your mind too. You won’t be able to push yourself hard during your workout routine if you aren’t able to focus and concentrate, and if you don’t have the right levels of energy. So what can you do to prepare for your work out? Well these simple tips will take no time at all to incorporate into your routine, and will stand you in good stead for enjoying the best workout you’ve ever had!
Ask the Doctor!
If you’ve never worked out before, or you’re returning to exercise after a long break then it’s best to get the all clear from your doctor before you begin. This is particularly important if you’ve recently had surgery, are currently pregnant or have recently had a baby. Your doctor will be able to check your current fitness levels and give you a full physical examination. He or she will also be able to talk to you about your anticipated workout routine and offer some tips about the best and healthiest way to proceed.
Schedule Your Work Out
This may seem obvious, but one of the main reasons people stop working out, or fail to achieve their work out goals is simply because they don’t make the time to work out regularly. Schedule your workout, and ensure you make time to exercise as regularly as possible. Make fitting exercise into your day a priority: block out time in your calendar so that you have no excuse not to head to the gym and achieve your goals. By knowing when you are going to be working out in advance, you can also ensure your body is as prepared as possible to get the most out of your work out period. On the subject of planning, you should also plan what you want to do when you get to the gym and start your work out: is today a weights day or a cardio day? Is today the day for your yoga class? You’ll save vital time and be more motivated if you know what you’re planning to do in advance.
Eat and Drink the Right Things
You should never work out on an empty stomach, or you simply won’t have the energy you need to get through your workout routine. And if you’re hungry you won’t have any enthusiasm for exercise anyway! Try to have a healthy and balanced meal approximately an hour before you begin exercising. The perfect combination is a meal that consists of 20% lean protein (such as chicken or fish) 60% low glycemic carbohydrates, and 20% healthy fats. You could also consider a natural pre-exercise energy boost by consuming a workout specific energy drink prior to your workout, to give you a lift and an extra push as you begin your exercise routine. The right supplement will help to release energy throughout your workout. On the subject of fluids, ensure you drink plenty of water before and throughout your work out to ensure you stay as hydrated as possible. This will help to improve your concentration levels and keep you focused for the duration of your workout.
Focus Your Mind
Finally, some of the world’s most successful athletes maintain that being mentally focused and mentally prepared is the most vital part of their pre-competition routine. Although a weekly work out is not on the same scale as an Olympic race, the principle is the same! Visualize what you would like to achieve, think about your long term goals (whether that’s fitting into a smaller dress, being able to run in a faster time, or simply being fitter and healthier for your family) and picture the short term outcome you’re hoping to achieve from today’s work out. The most focused your mind is the more likely you are to achieve your goals.