Let’s be honest, not everyone wants to spend long hours at the gym, but we all want to get stronger, leaner, and reach our overall personal fitness goals. Maybe you’ve been hitting the gym hard, but aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for. It’s possible that you may not be getting the most out of your workout time, but don’t fret! There are things you can do before you even step foot in the gym to make sure your time there is maximized. Here are a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of your workout.
Have proper nutrition
Many people often don’t pay enough attention to their nutrition. In order for your muscles to rebuild, it’s important that your body gets enough protein. If you’re not getting enough, you’re going to get very little out of your workout. Whether it’s cardio or strength training, protein is required for building muscles, as well as muscle recovery. Carbs are also important to get the most out of our workouts as they are our body’s main source of fuel. While low-carb diets may be in right now, you will need carbs to have enough energy to get through intense workouts. An easy way to get both protein and carbs is through a protein shake. Add a banana to your shake and you’ll have a great source of carbohydrates and protein needed for exercise.
Not only is it important to have proper nutrition, but it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day as well. To prevent dehydration you should drink about 2 liters of water a day. A simple way to do this is to follow the 8×8 rule, eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Keep in mind that it takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water, so you can’t just chug water right before exercising. Get in the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day. You can even use a time marked water bottle to help you stay on track to reach your daily water goal.
Wear the right clothing
It may come as a surprise that the clothing you wear can have a major impact on your workout, both positively and negatively. If you’re wearing clothing that isn’t comfortable or doesn’t fit properly, you’ll spend more time fussing over it rather than focusing on your workout. Whereas if you’re wearing clothing that is comfortable and durable, you’re able to stay completely focused on your workout. When you’re shopping for athleticwear, stick to brands that you know you can rely on like Old Navy. Their selection of activewear is comfortable, stylish, and durable, not to mention affordable. You can purchase Old Navy activewear for even less by shopping at secondhand stores like thredUP. This way you’ll have more reliable outfits to help you stay comfortable while you exercise.
Get enough sleep
Believe it or not, the key to achieving your dream body isn’t how long you hit the gym for, it’s how much sleep you get. Sleep experts recommend that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. As we sleep, our brains recharge and muscle is built. If you’re not already getting the proper amount of sleep, make an effort to go to bed earlier. If you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep at night, develop a bedtime routine that starts 60-90 minutes before bed. Use this time to unwind and relax your body. Put away your electronics, dim the lights and do something relaxing like reading a book, drawing, or even taking a bath. You don’t have to do the same things every night, but stick to the same timeframe. Going to bed at the same time each night can increase your quality of sleep as well.
Regardless of what your fitness goals are, if you follow these tips and take time throughout the day to relax, you’ll be in great shape in no time without having to work harder at the gym.