As busy as life can be in the modern world, we all wish we could buy ourselves a little more time. Since we can’t, it’s important to make the most of the time you do have. That principle extends to your workouts. If you’d like to see better results but don’t have time for more exercise or longer workouts, we have good news. You can maximize your workout results by following a few simple tips.
Image via Flickr by Arya Ziai
Even if your exercise is your primary focus right now, remember that nutrition plays a vital role in the results you see. Plan your pre- and post-workout meals strategically so that the food you eat will work in your favor. Before hitting the gym, consider downing a cup of coffee to help your workout feel easier and more enjoyable or eating a bowl of fiber-filled oatmeal for a steady supply of energy. The potassium in bananas or coconut water could help you avoid muscle cramps, while a little extra protein could help your muscles rebuild after a workout.
Do your research to learn what foods you should eat or avoid both before and after your workout. For instance, studies suggest eating whole grains and avoiding high-fat foods before working out. You should also read up on the best time to take supplements like whey protein and creatine.
Invite a Friend
Unless you’re brand-new to working out, you’ve probably already read several articles about the importance of accountability for sticking with your fitness goals. If you haven’t applied this advice yet, don’t put it off any longer. Enlist a friend as your fitness buddy — preferably someone with the same level of fitness and dedication as you — and reap the benefits. The good company will make your workouts more enjoyable, and you can push and support each other.
If you want to achieve a specific goal, take the time to track your workouts, from the steps you take to the food you eat. Seeing your progress toward your goal will motivate you, leading to improved results. Without that accountability, it can be easy to cut workouts short, slack off, or skip a day.
By far the easiest way to track your workouts is with a fitness tracker. These apps and devices allow you to input a variety of information, such as how many pounds you lifted at the gym to how far you ran during your morning run. In addition to your workouts, you can track your calories, weight, sleep, and more. This will give you a good overall picture of your health and how your workouts affect it.
You may also find that you get better results by practicing mindfulness during your workouts. This can take several forms, from putting thought into the “why” behind your fitness goals to control your breathing. These simple practices, which keep your mind and body work in tune with each other, can make your workouts more meaningful and enjoyable. You may even see your form, technique, and outlook improving.
You don’t always have to increase the frequency or intensity of your workouts to improve your results. If you feel you’ve hit a plateau, try incorporating these tips to push yourself closer to your fitness goals.
About The Author:
Ryan is a freelance writer primarily focusing on tech and health topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her family.