Do’s for an Effective Workout
- Do hydrate. Your body needs water to keep your cells healthy while you work out, so make sure you always have a bottle handy.
- Do warm up first. Light stretching gives your body an opportunity to get limber before you really get going. If you attempt to do too much too soon, you could end up hurting yourself.
- Do get all your muscles involved. Instead of focusing all your attention on one muscle group, choose exercises that work different groups at the same time. These can include squats, lunges and bench presses.
- Do change your routine. Doing the same workout over and over again means your body gets used to it and you won’t get the same benefit. Be sure to mix it up every few weeks so you won’t get bored, either.
- Do turn off your phone. It’s so easy to get distracted, especially these days. Turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode so you won’t be tempted to check your texts or social media.
- Do use accessories. Resistance bands, fitness belts, weights and other accessories help make your workouts more effective. Many of these items are portable, so you can stash them in your bag wherever you go.
- Do keep track of your progress. Whether you use a wearable fitness tracker with an app or pen and paper, a detailed log of your workouts can help you visualize your progress. It also helps you make the necessary adjustments you need to achieve your goals.
- Do get some rest. Not only should you take a breather between exercises, but you also should make sure you get enough rest at night. Sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours helps your body recover and gives you more energy the next day.
Don’ts for an Effective Workout
- Don’t hydrate too fast. Gulping large amounts of water during your workout can lead to stomach cramps and low sodium levels. Instead, space your hydration by sipping a few ounces every 15 minutes or so.
- Don’t work out without eating. Exercising on an empty stomach means your body will start burning muscle for energy instead of fat. Eating a balanced meal before your time at the gym can boost your metabolism.
- Don’t ignore aches or pains. A little pain is normal, but if you feel more than the usual amount, take a break. If it persists after a cooldown, you may have an injury that will require rest to heal.
- Don’t lift without a spotter. You should always have someone looking out for you when doing strength training. Otherwise, you could put yourself at risk for injury.
- Don’t swing weights. Always perform your exercises in a controlled manner and avoid cheating by letting the weights pull your arms. This can lead to pulled muscles and other injuries.
- Don’t forget about posture. When your back and core are out of alignment, you’ll tire much faster and put yourself at risk of being hurt. Make sure you’re not overtaxing any one area of your body.
- Don’t hold your breath. Forgetting to breathe out when weightlifting or performing any other strenuous activity can put too much strain on your circulatory system. Avoid high blood pressure by exhaling whenever pushing or lifting.
- Don’t stop suddenly. Slowing down instead of coming to a dead stop when running or jogging gives your body the chance it needs to recover.
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