If you’re one of the many people working out for the warmer months, it’s important to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout. The amount, timing, and content of what you eat before and after exercising plays a huge factor in the effectiveness of your training, and predicts both your energy levels during the session, and how quickly your body is able to recover afterwards.
According to Sheila Zhou, USANA Scientist, “Often people don’t realise that what they do before and after their workout is just as important as their training regimen. However, to achieve a flawless workout, you don’t need to make huge changes. For example, just by consuming water before a training session you are helping your body maintain fluid balance, and perform at its best.”
Here are six training tips that will help you get the most out of your entire workout process:
1. Turn up the tunes
If the Rocky movies taught us anything about exercise it’s that music is a great motivator. ‘Eye of the Tiger’ might not be your personal cup of tea, but working out to music can actually improve your performance and endurance by up to 15 percent. Listening to our favourite tunes effectively disassociates our brain from the physical activity we are participating in. Rather than focusing on how much farther we have to run or how steep the upcoming hill is, our mind is focused on the music we are listening to.
2. Become an early bird
They say that the early bird gets the worm and, in this case the worm is an amazing summer body. Exercising early in the morning kick starts your metabolism and gets you energised for the day ahead.
3. Don’t fight the chocolate cravings
Chocoholics rejoice. You can now justify your dark chocolate cravings in the name of improving your workouts! If this seems too good to be true, it isn’t. Flavonol epicatechin, a key ingredient in dark chocolate, sends a signal to your arteries telling them to relax, thus improving circulation.
4. Change the way you stretch
The importance of stretching has been drilled into our brains since we began taking PE classes at school, and it is, but not in the way you might have originally been told. Pre-workout stretching helps loosen up the muscle and prevent injury. In fact, the most effective way that stretching can help your workout, is to maintain a regular regimen throughout the week, even if this doesn’t coincide with your exercise schedule.
5. Massage the pain away
Don’t forget that exercise is way more of a mental game than you might think. Massages can help muscle soreness and injuries but they can also have great psychological and emotional benefits. A massage is good for winding your mind down and putting you in the right head space to start again tomorrow. If you can’t justify splurging on constant massages, using a foam roller to roll out any kinks does the trick as well!
6. Stay hydrated
By the time you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrated. By keeping well hydrated throughout the day, especailly pre and post Summer workout, your body has the best chance of reaping the benefits of all that hard work you’ve been doing. A take-anywhere BPA free bottle, like the BRITA fill&go Active, is designed for active lifestyles, providing refreshing and most importantly – great tasting filtered water wherever your Summer takes you.