Working out keeps our bodies healthy and calms the mind, and is effective as a pick-me-up when we need that natural high that keeps us going every day. There are many kinds of workout routines you can do that vary in type, frequency, and intensity. Before diving into any exercise routine, you must know that there are many things you should consider.
Warming up and cooling down are important for a good workout experience, but have you taken a look at what you do outside the track or the gym? For instance, are you eating right? Are you hydrated enough? Do you have the right compression wear for your workout? If you want to zero in on fitness, these are just some of the things you should reflect on.
What is your goal?
Saying that you would like to lose weight is a good goal for working out, but it is too broad and prevents you from measuring your progress. It is better to have a clearly-defined goal, within a specific time frame so you can track how well you’re doing. If weight loss is your general goal, one of your specific goals should be something like this: “I want to lose three percent of my body fat in two months.” If you want to improve your speed and endurance, set a goal to finish a five-kilometer run within 30 minutes in a month’s time.
What are you doing?
The type of workout routine you choose is up to you and would depend on your goal. If you want to lose weight and get in shape, high-intensity training such as CrossFit is the way to go. You can also do some jogging combined with weight training, and aerobic exercises such as spinning, dancing, swimming, and martial arts. For building muscles, power and strength training with weights is ideal. The intensity and frequency of your workout would also depend on your goal.
What are you eating?
The question of what, when, and how much to eat is one of the major dilemmas we face before working out. The general rule is to never work out on an empty stomach, because you won’t have enough energy to work out at all. Your food intake will depend on your body’s needs as well as the intensity of your exercise routine. It is recommended that an hour before you work out, you should eat a small meal or a snack that is rich in protein and carbohydrates. Fruits and grains are great sources of carbohydrates, while yogurt can provide you with protein to help build muscle. Finish it off with a glass of water 30 minutes before a workout.
What are you wearing?
Choose workout gear that can accommodate the intensity of your routine while not sacrificing comfort. Breathable workout shirts, tanks, compression leggings, and sports bras are usually made of stretchable materials that allow for a wide range of movement while providing ample support. Don’t forget to wear the right footwear to prevent injury.
Once you have all of these bases covered, make time to train. It is important to commit to do what you really set out to do in order to reach your goal. Good luck and have fun working out!