Everyone has heard of drinking water between sets and the usual hints. But here are a few other things you may not have thought of. Remember small changes can make big impacts on the success of your workout and your overall health.
It is all about the sole
When it comes to working out, like anything else, you need a good foundation to begin with. If your feet are in bad shape, the rest of you will not be doing good either. It is essential that you have a great pair of shoes to keep you going strong. Finding out which pair of shoes is best for you will depend on your primary form of exercise. For example, walkers are best served by shoes like Asics which provide a lot of built in support or rounded sole shoes like Sketchers Shape-ups that are designed to really tone the glutes, thighs, and calves.
Food is the fuel of your body
Most people know that the foods you eat are important to your state of health, but it cannot be stressed enough! High protein/low fat meals are the best foods for building muscle and burning fat. Eating a protein bar shortly before your workout is like giving your car engine a shot of “super fuel”. The protein really charges up your metabolism. Don’t forget about hydration! Drinking plenty of water is best but drinks with electrolytes are also good. Especially for people who are prone to bouts of low energy, the electrolyte drinks (like Gatorade) can prevent the sluggish feeling of energy loss.
For maximum benefit, mix it up a little
Doing the same routines over and over again will lead not only to boredom but a plateau as far as muscle tone is concerned. When muscles do the same repetitive motions over and over again, they stop growing and developing. They will maintain their current level of tone, but that is all. Not to mention that mentally we begin to “check out” and no longer enjoy the workout if it is always the same routine. If you are not sure what changes to make, check out some of the downloadable workouts that are available online. Many workouts applications for i-pods and cell phones can be found on websites like Self.com. Self is also available is a print magazine which always includes workout suggestions with full color photos and instructions that you can detach and take to the gym with you. A simple Google search will display a whole treasure trove of online workouts that can be streamed to you as well. So follow along and have some fun.
Bring along a “workout buddy”
Successful programs in life usually center on accountability. The reason is that when we have to answer to someone else, we are more likely to “suck it up” and do what is expected of us, even when we are feeling lazy. So have a friend or personal trainer accompany you on your workout to add extra incentive to keep you going. Not to mention, a healthy sense of competition is incentive all on its own. Come on, you know you can do more push ups than that, and it’s a good bet you can do the treadmill at a slightly faster pace right? It is easy to get off track, having someone who will expect you to stay on the right path will help keep you there.
Sketchers Fitness Group website – http://www.skechers.com/info/fitness (find out more about your exercise shoe needs)
Craig Elliott – http://www.articleclick.com/Article/The-Benefits-of-Electrolytes-in-Sports-Drinks/980689 (The Benefits of Electrolytes in Sports Drinks)
Exercise Tv – http://www.exercisetv.tv/workout-videos/ (free workout videos)
Self.com Fitness Section – http://www.self.com/fitness (for workout videos and tips)
Beth Campbell – http://www.articlesbase.com/fitness-articles/the-benefits-of-a-workout-partner-141787.html (Benefits of Having a Workout Partner)