I follow these 4 rules daily. If you ever take one of my classes or training sessions, you will definitely hear about sleep, water, and every workout will have a proper warm up and cool down. Exercise should be viewed as a way to improve energy, lifestyle and alleviate stress not just weight loss goals. Follow these 4 simple steps to maximize your time and energy.
1. Get enough Sleep.
Being well-rested not only energizes you through every burpee or sprint, but it also keeps your hunger hormones right, so you’re not undoing your efforts in the gym by overeating the rest of the day.
If you can’t do seven, at least try for six and a half hours and set limits on electronic use before bed so the light doesn’t keep them awake. A good sleep is also super important after a workout, too—that’s when muscles really get to recover.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
You already know that drinking your H20 is imperative to overall health, but it plays an especially important role in a fitness routine—when you’re sweating it out, you need to make sure your body is properly hydrated since you’re losing water. Plus, being hydrated will make sure your energy levels are where they need to be.
Try aiming for half of your body weight in ounces per day (so, if you weight 150 pounds, try to get in 75 ounces). If your urine is dark, it probably means you’re not hydrated enough.
3. Work in a dynamic warm-up.
Don’t skip the Warm Up!! The warm-up is meant to give your body the opportunity to raise your body temperature, increase range of motion, and prepare your body and mind for what you are about to do. It also helps decrease your chance of injury when you ease into your workout, rather than jumping straight from a resting state to the hard work.
Increasing your range of motion can help you make the most of your workout because you’ll be able to recruit more muscles during an exercise (for example, getting deeper into a spot means putting more muscles to work). This is done through a dynamic warm-up, which essentially means moving through stretches that aren’t held in place.
4. Stretch it out.
A cool-down brings your body back to a resting position—the way you walked into the gym is the way you want to leave. To increase your range of motion, decrease soreness, and help expedite your recovery process, you need to implement isometric stretching. This is the opposite of the stretches you do in a warm-up—after a workout, you should hold your stretches for at least 10 seconds each. And because muscles are best stretched when they’re warm, you definitely don’t want to go straight from your workout to a seated position, like at a desk or in a car.