Working Out? Here Are The Basics by Claire Jarrow

Pre-Preparation – Boost Your Workout

Customers of HFE are naturally serious about getting the best possible results from their workout. Often, however, exercise can seem daunting. Whether you’re fatigued, not in the mood, or even wary of an intense exercise session, sometimes you just can’t seem to pluck up the enthusiasm or energy to undertake your scheduled session. Some people, on the other hand, rush into their workout with great enthusiasm but find that they just aren’t getting out the results they were expecting, or that they flag half way through. Putting in a little pre-prep before you start, however, can both ramp up your energy and enthusiasm for the task, and ensure that your workout provides the best results possible.

Get Motivated

The single best thing you can do to power you through an effective workout is to build up your motivation. If your mental attitude is one of fired up determination and enthusiasm, you’ll fly through your workout with the kind of effort that gets results. One of the best way to pump up your mind as you’re preparing to pump up your body is through music. Music and mood are intrinsically linked, and many have found that listening to an inspiring track can really do wonders for the efficacy and enjoyability of their workouts. The body responds in surprising ways to musical beats – for a start, it gives your brain a harmless distraction which will stave off boredom and take attention away from muscle pain, thus ensuring that you stick at the exercises for longer. Music you enjoy can also provoke a biochemical reaction, causing the body to release adrenalin and endorphins which are hugely beneficial to those working out. Of course, everyone has their favorite workout track, so there’s no hard and fast rule regarding what to listen to – but there are certain suggestions which may help. Tracks with a strong, regular beat can help aid repetitive exercises as they help to get a rhythm going. Tracks with a faster tempo can inspire advanced performance during cardio workouts. Synchronizing your body with the beats can even improve the standard and form of your exercises, as it leaves little space for sloppy execution.

Hydrate Properly

Drink plenty of water before you start. This may seem obvious but, if you’re dehydrated, your workout won’t be nearly so effective. Your body needs water more than almost anything else. If you hydrate properly before you start your workout, you’re likely not only to increase your own performance, you’ll also find that you don’t need to interrupt your workout in order to gulp down some water. Many people don’t actually start to feel thirsty until they’re already significantly dehydrated. By the time you get dehydrated enough to feel thirst, lack of fluid in your body will already be affecting your performance. Dehydration brings on muscle weakness, lack of co-ordination, and cramps – so prepare by stocking up fully with fluids.

Intake Energy

Taking in a nutritional boost pre-workout can have a huge impact. One way to do this is to eat slow-release, energy-boosting foods which will stimulate you without burning out and causing an energy ‘crash’ halfway through the workout. Such foods include bananas, grapefruit, oats, eggs, brown rice, and beans. Try and eat foods which have undergone as little processing as possible, to have the best effect on balancing your blood sugars. Supplement these with a specially formulated muscular energy aid which can really give you that extra edge. Drinks which boost nitric oxide and contain B vitamins, for example, can really rack your workout up a notch. Nitric oxide aids communication between cells, and is instrumental in improving circulation – helping your body get nutrients to the muscles when you need them, aiding in tissue repair, and speeding muscle growth. Crucially, it encourages the body to release adrenaline, increasing your anaerobic threshold and enabling you to sustain your workout for longer.

B-Vitamins

Taking in B-vitamins can increase high-intensity muscle performance and increase the body’s ability to repair and grow muscle tissue. Even a minor B-vitamin deficiency can render your workout a crippling chore, and increase your recovery time significantly. Many exercisers trying to lose weight are unintentionally restricting their B-vitamin consumption through low-calorie diets – which is a shot in the metaphorical foot, as the exercise benefits of B-vitamins far outweigh their calorie load. You can get B-vitamins from dark-leaved vegetables, nuts, wholegrains, and many dairy products. However, plenty of energy drinks and muscle supplements also contain B-vitamins to strengthen their fitness-enhancing potential.

Have A Rest

Make sure that you’re not over-training. Many people believe that more is always better. When it comes to exercise, this is not always the case. Improving fitness is a process of consistently causing minor, easily repaired damage to your body in order for your body to enhance your body in the process of repair in order for that action not to damage it again. Muscle building, for example, involves micro-tearing your muscles in order for your body to knit together the tears and lay down more tissue to strengthen that muscle’s overall capacity. Your body processes the effects which you have wrought upon it in your workouts during its rest days. If your body is denied those rest days, you will merely keep damaging it without getting any of the repair and enhancement benefits. This can result in a severe drop in performance, exhaustion, depression, and a frustrating lack of results. If you’ve been working out hard every day, and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may well be that the best thing you can do to prepare for your next workout is to take a day or two off.