Remember when every single workout felt challenging, refreshing and left you with a satisfied soreness after you were through? Over time, exercise routines can get somewhat boring and don’t really push you to your maximum potential. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and just go through the motions without the effort behind it. If you’re approach to working out has been uninspiring lately, maybe it’s time to shake things up and get back on track.
Here are three key ways to improve your workout performance as well as enhance your overall health.
- Add Resistance and Instability
According to researchers who study the effects of exercise on the human body, lifting a heavier weight for only 8 reps burns twice the calories than lifting lighter weights doing 15 reps in total. A good guideline to follow is to keep adding small increments of weight to a particular exercise until doing 3 sets/10 reps starts to become extremely challenging and difficult to perform. Keep practicing with that weight set until you can do 10 reps and then increase the resistance by adding more weight each time you reach your comfort level.
A well-rounded exercise routine doesn’t have to drain every ounce of energy you have, but it’s a good idea to enhance the exercises you’re already doing. For instance, try adding some exercises that require you to maintain your balance. Exercises that involve the art of balancing will naturally stimulate the need for more muscle activity, especially your core muscles. Take your regular exercises to a whole new level by performing them on a stability ball. Remember to always be mindful of your form so it’s properly aligned at all times.
Also, don’t be afraid to get explosive. Newer research reveals that performing explosive movements including plyometric push-ups, kettlebell swings, and box jumps can affect ‘fast-twitch’ muscles, which are used during powerful, quick movements.
- Get Social
Do you always exercise alone and keep the details of your progress to yourself? Surprisingly, you’ll be encouraged to do so much more if you’re motivated by others through social interaction whether it’s online or off. Studies show that engaging in social support by revealing your overall health and fitness goals greatly increases the odds of achieving those goals. Therefore, it’s in your own best interest to make your fitness goals public by sharing them with people on social media or your family members and friends. If everyone on Twitter knows your specific goals, they’re going to hold you to them and support you every step of the way.
Also, if you have an exercise partner you’re much more likely to remain active and actually reach your goals rather than trying to do it all alone. A good workout buddy will boost your accountability factor while giving you some much-needed motivation.
- Eat More Nutrient-Rich Foods
The muscle groups you use while exercising, whether it’s resistance training, targeting flexibility or cardio, all depend on the nutrition they receive through your specific diet. It’s crucial to give your body the nutrients it requires prior to working out and after you’re done working out as well as the periods in between in order to optimize the quality of your workout session.
Protein is the primary building block of your muscle tissue and helps build new fibers, as well as repair any tissues that were damaged while working out. Also, eating a variety of protein-based foods can encourage muscle recovery so you feel better faster. There are many different ways to add protein to your diet, many people choose to use supplements in order to get more protein in their diet. For instance, some prefer more expensive protein such as progenex. The route that you want to take will depend on your goals.
- Key Vitamins and Minerals
Your body relies on a number of vitamins and minerals while you’re exercising for both muscle contraction and energy production. When you lack these important nutrients it directly impacts your ability to maximize your overall workout. Electrolytes, including sodium, work to maintain the fluid balance in your body’s cells by drawing in water.
Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy your muscles require in order to perform a variety of tasks, including the fuel to workout. Any carbohydrates you consume prior to exercising burn calories and also build-up in your liver and muscles as glycogen, which is where starch is stored and retrieved when your muscles need them while exercising.
It takes time to reach your fitness goals. Some techniques are more effective than others based on a number of varying factors. It’s important to listen to your body, stay open-minded, eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of rest, and drink lots of fresh water every day.