Thursday 2 September 2021

7 Tips To Make Your Workouts More Effective

According to the National Health Service (NHS), obesity is a common problem in the UK that affects about one in four adults. Therefore, it isn't surprising to see many people exploring various ways to remain fit and healthy. Working out is undoubtedly high up on the list of things you can do to stay fit. However, it is essential to make your hard work in the gym pay off by exercising smarter. If you wish to learn more about making your workouts more effective, please consider these points.

1. Create and listen to a great workout playlist

     Music and exercise are excellent pairings, so it isn't uncommon to find people with earbuds and headphones on in the gym. Therefore, consider creating a great playlist that you can listen to on your way to the gym and during your workout sessions. Music reportedly distracts people from the full effects of pain and fatigue, so it can make your workouts more bearable. In addition, music elevates mood, boosts endurance, and lowers perceived efforts. Therefore, people often swim faster, run farther, and bike longer when listening to music, mostly without realising it. However, it is crucial to select the right music to keep you preoccupied and focused as you work towards your fitness goals. You can queue your favourite songs to enjoy. Also, consider the emotions, associations, and memories that different songs evoke when selecting your workout music instead of just queuing up many fast, high-energy songs.

2. Fuel your body before and after exercising

It is never a good idea to arrive at the gym hungry, so eat properly in advance to make your workout sessions more effective. If you plan on consuming a big meal, do so at least three to four hours before exercising. Additionally, ensure that the meal consists of protein, fats, and carbohydrates to maintain your energy levels. Also, if you opt for a quick snack instead before your workout, eat it one to two hours in advance. This snack should not have more than 200 calories and must be a great mixture of protein and carbs without too much fat. After working out, it is also crucial to fuel your body and recover appropriately since exercising breaks down your muscles and depletes your glycogen reserves. You can eat protein bars 15 minutes to an hour after exercising. They contain the perfect mixture of protein and carbohydrates that can replenish your lost energy and rebuild muscle tissue.

3. Walk into the gym with a plan

It isn't uncommon for people to come to the gym brimming with enthusiasm but without a clear plan of action to channel this zeal into getting results. Consequently, develop an action plan before you go to the gym so you can avoid wandering while you decide what to do next. Indecisiveness at the gym makes your workout sessions longer and less efficient since your heart rate can significantly drop as you seek out subsequent routines. 

Thankfully, you can readily outline a gym action plan using pen and paper. You can list down all the exercises you will do, where you will do them, and in what order. Additionally, come up with a backup plan, just if someone else beats you to the space or equipment you were planning on using. For instance, you can move to other parts of your workout routine and return when the space or equipment is free. Alternatively, you can switch to a backup exercise that uses different equipment to pursue fitness goal.

4. Channel your inner competitor

Researchers say that competition is a stronger motivator than friendly support, so it is crucial to introduce competition into your workout sessions one way or another. Encouraging texts from friends and family members may be appreciated before a workout session, but a Fitbit challenge will enable you to run or work out faster. Therefore, consider wearing a fitness tracker during your sessions to spur yourself towards achieving your fitness goals. Also, you can sign up for a race and run it with a personal time target in mind. Furthermore, you can work out with a friend to channel your inner competitor.

5. Try foam rolling

Foam rolling has become increasingly popular with fitness enthusiasts these days, and a growing body of research suggests that this trend deserves to stay. According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, rolling reduces muscle soreness and significantly boosts recovery. Foam rolling reduced muscle soreness up to three days after a squat routine and increased motion range in the quadriceps muscles. Also, you don't even need to roll it out for a long time to reap the benefits since just two minutes of foam rolling can increase motion range by ten degrees. What's more, foam rolling can help you warm up your body for a workout session, recover from one, or loosen tight muscles, so you can use a foam roller for many purposes when pursuing your fitness goals.

6. Be mentally present 

Many people dissociate from their workouts by fixating on their instructors or chatting with friends. However, it would be best to focus on the muscles you are engaging while exercising rather than going through the motion mindlessly. Concentrating on contracting the muscles you involve in your workouts can help you better your sessions. For instance, while performing squats, you can think about how your glutes are helping you through each rep to ensure that you use good form and engage them appropriately.

7. Reduce workout time but increase the intensity

Various studies indicate that one minute of all-out exercising can have the same effects as 45 minutes of moderate exercising. Therefore, intensity matters over the length of your workout sessions, so you should consider shortening the time spent at the gym and increasing your sessions' intensity instead. Interval training is a great way to increase the power of your workouts gradually, so keep this in mind. As such, you can alternate between eight seconds of high-intensity activities and 12 seconds of lower intensity exercises for 20 minutes. Researchers believe that doing this three times a week can lead to more weight loss than exercising consistently for as long.


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