Fitness Tips

Workouts

When not to work out

Within three hours of bed time. Your body makes cortisol when you work out. Therefore, do your workouts so that you are done at least three hours before bed time to sleep quicker.

Ways to stay motivated with your workout

To stay motivated, plan your workouts. For example, your plan may be to work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Next, set reminders to help you organize your day and time to work out. Lastly, come up with a way to reward yourself after the workout. The reward could be eating a small portion of your favorite sweets, drinks, or getting a massage.

What not to eat right before a workout

Soda, energy drinks, smoothies, yogurt, protein bars, high-fat foods, high-fiber vegetables, and fast foods.

How much to Work Out

Department of Health and Human Services recommends all adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. For even greater health benefits and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended.

Examples of moderate aerobic exercises include brisk walking, biking, swimming, and mowing the lawn. Examples of vigorous aerobic exercises include running, heavy yard work, and aerobic dancing. Also, do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. Strength training can include use of weight machines, your body weight, heavy bags, resistance tubing or resistance paddles in water, or activities such as rock climbing.

How to get the most out of your Workout

Get the most out of your workout by going all in. So, hype yourself for the workout. For example, listen to music you love and pumps you up as you work out. Next, don't get distracted during the workout. So, use your phone only for the music but not to answer incoming calls. Also, be flexible at a fitness club. If your favorite machine is in use, switch to another available machine and come back to your favorite after it's free. In addition, keep things simple with three to five workouts per session. Finally, remind yourself you don't need to be exhausted after your session is over.

Muscles

Best way to strengthen muscles

Give your self one or two days of rest for each muscle group you are training. For example, rest one day between intense spin workouts. Similarly, you can train different muscle groups on successive days. For example, work on your arm muscles one day and your leg muscles the next day.

Weight Lifting for Beginners

Warm up your muscles before you start. Beginners can start with using their body weight. Or, use weights appropriate to your body conditioning. Also, do the same moves until you are ready for the next level. Have a regular workout schedule. Stretch muscles after a workout. Finally, schedule rest day(s).

Right way to do squats

Sit on a simple dining or desk chair. Next, raise your seat with the front of your thighs barely touching the chair's seat. Meanwhile, raise your crossed lower arms (aka forearms) in front of you so that the upper arms are parallel to the floor and your face is facing forward, perpendicular to the floor. Once you get the hang of it, do the squat without the chair.

Precautions

Don't get dehydrated

Adults should look for these signs to know you need to drink water: dry mouth, not sweating, muscle cramps, extreme thirst, dark-colored urine, fatigue, feeling dizzy, or getting confused.

How to prevent muscle cramps

Warming up with a jog or brisk walk, varying exercise routines, staying well hydrated, drinking sports drinks containing sodium and potassium (especially when its hot outdoors), and stretching are some of the ways to prevent muscle cramps.

How to treat muscle cramps

As soon as you get a muscle cramp, stop doing the activity that precipitated it. Now, stretching and massaging the area may help relieve muscle cramps.

Monitoring

Not seeing progress

Tweaking your workout can make a difference. However, change only one thing at a time, and be very specific. For example, change duration, intensity like speed, load like heavier weights, or add a completely new workout. Also, stay with the change for six to eight weeks for your body to adapt muscles and/or cardio before tweaking again. Remember, if your body is subject to the same workout for months and years, it will see no need to adapt.

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