Get the most out of your workout

3 min read
31 Jan 2018
3 min read
791 words
This week, our resident fitness expert presents some ways you can make the most of your time and motivation to get the most out of your workout--no matter what the season

Winter is that time of the year when our sweat-session motivation is at an all-time low, but that should be no reason for you to miss your workouts. After all, fitness is a lifestyle. This week, I present some ways you can make the most of your time and motivation to get the most out of your workout--no matter what the season.

A perfect prep

Need a push that will boost your overall performance and help you get the maximum benefits out of your session? Make sure you have a good pre-workout snack. For instance, carbs will give you that much-needed fuel for any high-intensity workout. If you prefer something lighter, you can choose to have a cup of strong black coffee, without sugar.  

Start with a dynamic warm up instead of static stretching

Warming up is essential to prevent injuries, but we tend to either forgo or rush through it when we are short on time. Experts recommend that everyone go through a dynamic warm up, which refers to moving as you stretch, as opposed to static warm up, before you perform any form of exercise. This activates the muscles that you will be using during your workout and improves your range of motion, which subsequently complements muscular performance and power.

TRY: Do each of these moves for a minute: run in place, followed by high knees, reverse lunge kick (lunge with your left leg and kick as you come up and vice versa), arm swings, mountain climbers and end with jumping jacks. You can also choose to do movements that mimic your regimen of the day.

Focus on weights

It's high time to get over the 'one hour of cardio, four-five times a week' philosophy and start acknowledging the amazing results of weight training. Studies have shown that simply doing 20 minutes of lifting goes a much longer way than 40 minutes of cardio. Try working out at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time. A better combo would be high intensity training with weightlifting intervals.

TRY: Do three rounds of these: HIIT workout of sprinting, push ups with weights, squats, butt kicks and triceps dips with a 45-second intervals, for a total of 20 minutes.

Try something new

Shock your body by introducing it to a new regimen--this will ensure greater calorie burn and prevent monotony. A new workout session or variations in your usual regimen will result in greater gains in a shorter time.

Remember, perspiration is not everything!

It worries me when clients gauge their progress by how much they have perspired. A personĂ­s perspiration has nothing to do with calorie burn, and it should not be given much importance. Instead, focus should be given on improved stamina, endurance, muscle definition and body measurements. Doing so will give you a more accurate idea of your progress and motivate you further.

Music motivation and recovery

Studies have proven that music is key to motivation during a workout. Now, that does not mean that you must opt for a music-led session like Zumba or group aerobics exercises. You can simply listen to your favourite tracks during your sweat session and after completing it, since music has shown to speed up recovery.
TRY: Another way to aid recovery is to drink a glass of unsweetened chocolate milk. Have one as soon as you finish your workout, as this will help restore your energy and help protein get into your muscles.