Maximizing the benefits of your workout requires loads of motivation – Image via Pexels
Whether you are a day-to-day athlete or hoping to become an Olympic gold medallist, maximizing the impact of your workouts takes plenty of determination and commitment.
To give yourself the best chance of improving your workout results, it is imperative to ensure that your energy levels are up to scratch.
Attempting to exercise when you are tired and lethargic is unlikely to deliver the desired results, particularly if this happens on a regular basis.
With that in mind, we look at the best ways to ensure that your body is consistently ready for the demands placed on it during a workout.
When it comes to working out, think of your body in the same way as you would think about a car. If you put the wrong fuel in it, things will not end well.
Eating a well-balanced diet will help you get the nutrients you need to fuel all your daily activities, including regular exercise.
Studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast is vital on days when exercise is on your agenda. Skipping breakfast can leave you feeling sluggish during a workout.
Choose a breakfast that is rich in fiber and protein to stave off hunger pangs and give you the energy to cope with whatever the day throws at you.
From there, your remaining meals should include the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Your ultimate aim is to consume a balanced and healthy diet. However, there is nothing wrong with a treat or two along the way. Just don’t overdo it!
In addition to your general dietary intake, supplementation is a hugely useful way to ensure you maximize the impact of your workouts.
While it is possible for people to get most of the required nutrients from food, most people fail to get the requisite amount.
The demands of family and work-life can make it difficult to stick to a completely nutritious diet, which can leave you deficient in essential nutrients.
Thankfully there is a handy solution in the form of pre-workout supplementation, which gives you the energy to power through even the most challenging workouts.
They contain ingredients such as amino acids, beta-alanine, caffeine, and creatine to boost your body’s ability to cope with the demands of exercise.
Used alongside a healthy and balanced diet, supplements can provide the performance-enhancing benefits you need to fulfill your fitness goals.
Staying well-hydrated is vital. Around 60% of your body is water and it plays a crucial role in every bodily function.
You can lose up to two liters of fluid per hour when exercising through breathing and sweating, highlighting why staying hydrated matters.
You will feel tired more quickly if you are dehydrated, and controlling your body temperature can become much more difficult.
Staying properly hydrated will help you achieve your fitness goals – Image via Pexels
As it can take time for fluids to be absorbed into the body it is advisable to drink water steadily during the day.
The amount you need to drink is influenced by several factors including your fitness level, size, workout environment, and exercise intensity.
Listen to your body. If you feel thirsty, you need to drink as your body is telling you that it needs to take on more fluid.
Warm-up & cool down
Warming up and cooling down should be an essential part of your routine if you want to improve your athletic performance.
In simple terms, warming up prepares your body for strenuous aerobic activity by revving up your cardiovascular system.
A warm-up raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to your muscles. It may also lessen your risk of injury and reduce muscle soreness.
Cooling down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of your heart rate, and provides a safe way for your blood pressure to stabilize.
It also allows your muscles to relax in a more measured way, rather than going from high-intensity activity to nothing in a matter of seconds.
Walking to and from the gym can be a great way to warm up and cool down, and has the added benefit that you are getting a bit more exercise.
Rest & Recovery
Research has shown that athletes at all levels should build sufficient rest and recovery time into their workout regime.
The benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are often overlooked, especially in an age where increasing demands are placed on people’s time.
If you consistently get less than the optimum amount of sleep – generally 7-8 hours – your energy levels can suffer badly.
This not only has an impact on your ability to work out properly when you next exercise, but can also harm your recovery from previous sessions.
Sleep is the time when the body repairs itself – get too little rest and those minor niggles could become full-blown injuries.
Supplementing with a melatonin product can help to regulate your sleep, although it is best not to rely on this over a long period.
Acknowledge your limits
In some respects, this piece of advice can be linked-to rest and recovery, although it undoubtedly goes beyond those boundaries in terms of overall workout performance.
A significant drop in energy levels can indicate that you are overtraining, so it is important to recognize when you are doing too much.
While it may be tempting to think that you need to work out every single day, this may not necessarily be the best thing for your body.
A balanced workout where you are fully motivated and operating to the best of your ability is far more beneficial than several half-baked sessions.
If you are constantly feeling aches and pains this is generally a sign that you overdoing things, so don’t be afraid to acknowledge your limits if this happens.
As we have mentioned previously, listening to your body will help you maximize the benefits you gain from regular workouts.