Thursday, March 15, 2012

Five Ways to Get More Out of Your Workout

Maintaining a commitment to fitness has limitless benefits. Unfortunately, when you aren't seeing results it can be pretty hard to keep up with your routine. Follow these tips to help amplify your workouts and start seeing more drastic results.

Protein Rich Diet
Just because you may have an aversion to meat doesn’t mean you can’t get plenty of protein in your diet. Protein works as fuel for your muscles and keeps your body going at full speed. Nuts and beans are a great way to get lean protein worked into your diet. Adding more protein and reducing your carbs will allow your body to get the energy it needs to shape long, lean muscles. Throw them into your diet as a snack before and after lunch.

Water and Oxygen
Staying hydrated keeps your muscles energetic. If you pass on drinking water, then you'll quickly feel weak, light headed and even downright cranky. Not only is this bad for you, it is not conducive to a good workout. Plenty of oxygen is also important. Many people hold their breath when lifting a heavy weight. This is the worst thing you can do. Your blood needs plenty of oxygen to keep the muscles fueled. Taking a deep breath in and out with each repetition is necessary.

Turn up the Heat
Your body has to work harder in hot temperatures. If time is a concern, then a great way to amp up your workout is using space heaters. This will make you sweat a storm and certainly challenge your cardio. However, because high heat does demand so much from your body, make sure to drink copious amounts of water and take breaks when necessary.

Quality over Quantity
Sometimes it may be best to skip the gym. A bad workout can demotivate you and being tired can lead to poor form. Many times, you may find the motivation once you get to the gym and leave glad that you went. But if you are too tired, it just isn’t worth it. You don't get in shape by having good attendance, it's about the work you do when you are there. Certainly, a string of poor workouts will produce more gains than no workout at all, but they won’t be as effective as one or two really strong sessions. Approach your workouts with intention and enthusiasm.

Cross Training
Doing the same routine over and over will make you plateau. It's important to mix up the specific set of exercises you do and to incorporate different types of exercise. Weight lifters can benefit from one day of yoga or Pilates a week. Cardio-cravers will really start to see a difference if they focus on weights for a period. Cross training keeps a body on edge; if your muscles are strengthening against multiple types of activity then they'll be stronger overall.

Joseph Baker writes this post on behalf of Sears and strives for whole food wellness.

photo credit: cienpies (

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