With the holidays coming up, many of us are thinking about trying to pick back up on those fitness routines we swore we were going to stick to last January.
A New Year’s resolution still counts if you’re doing it at the beginning and the end of the year, right? Maintaining a workout routine can be hard and a lot of it is because beginners tend to make the same mistakes without the right workout tips.
We’re guessing when you first started at the beginning of this year, you jumped in five days a week, pushing through hour-long workouts, and training as hard as you could. Sound familiar? The thing is that isn’t a recipe for success.
Read on to discover some workout tips that will help you get in a fitness routine you can actually love.
Keep It Short
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make at the gym is thinking you have to go for super long workouts right off the jump. We hear about gym rats spending two or three hours in the gym and think we have to do the same. But all that does is burn you out and make you want to quit two workouts in.
Instead, go for a twenty- to thirty-minute workout. This will be long enough to get your heart rate up and start building strength while keeping it fun and manageable. Even thirty minutes of walking on a treadmill can do wonders for your health.
Most of us know that it’s important to drink water, but if you’re starting a workout routine, we cannot emphasize how important this is. Every system in your body runs off of water, and when you’re dehydrated, you’re running on empty. Not to mention you’re sweating and dehydrating yourself even more.
Do your best to drink plenty of water before your workout. If you work out in the morning, drink lots the night before, and if you work out in the afternoon, drink water in the hours before you go. Try to get the recommended amount of water each day – about fifteen cups for men and eleven cups for women.
When you’re first jumping into working out, you may find that you’re running through exercises quickly. Let’s take sit-ups for example – you may try to use momentum to get more reps in instead of taking it slowly. But this puts more strain on your muscles instead of building steady strength.
When you’re doing strength training exercises, whether those be lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises, move through the exercises slowly. You may be able to do fewer reps, but this will help make your muscles stronger and prevent injuries.
Focus on Good Form
Another benefit of going slow with exercises is it gives you time to focus on your form. One of the quickest ways to hurt yourself working out is to do an exercise the wrong way. This can strain your muscles or leave you without the support you need to keep from falling or dropping something.
While you’re moving through those slow exercises, focus on your form. If you aren’t sure how to do an exercise, ask a trainer at your gym to show you the proper form or look up online tutorials. Making sure to do it right from the start will form that muscle memory and make it easier when you start taking your workout to the next level.
Mix It Up
You want to give yourself every motivation to keep going back to the gym since it will take a few weeks for the habit to develop. And if you get bored with your workout routine the sixth time through it, you aren’t going to be excited to go back. So mix it up with your routine and keep things interesting.
Switch between different types of exercises and between strength training and cardio. Focus on your arms one day and your legs the next, or challenge yourself to try to master a new exercise each week. Don’t be afraid to be creative about using the space around you to do exercises; this will keep you excited to come back and try something new.
Listen to Music
One of the biggest keys to a successful workout is tricking your mind into believing your body can do what it’s capable of. You can always push further than you think, but it gets hard to do that if all you can think about is how tired you are. So keep that doubtful little part of your brain quiet by listening to music.
One study found that people who listened to music during their workouts put in 261 minutes more in a week than people who didn’t. Listening to music can also help you regulate the tempo of your workouts. So get together a playlist of your favorite pump-up songs, plug in the headphones, and get going!
Eat Some Carbs
Many people think you shouldn’t eat anything before you go work out to avoid cramping or getting sick. But your body needs fuel, especially when you’re putting it through a workout like that. So try to get some carbs a little while before you head to go work out.
Carbs are your body’s best source of energy, and you’ll need plenty of that for a workout. Don’t go crazy eating a bowl of spaghetti, though; instead, look for fiber bars and bananas. Lighter food with complex carbs will keep you energized throughout your workout.
Find More Workout Tips
Getting started with a workout routine can be hard, but it’s just a matter of training your mind to do what your body already knows it can. Make sure you’re hydrated and carbed up, and take your time with your exercises. You’ll find it easier to keep going back, and you’ll get stronger in a shorter time.
If you’d like to find more awesome workout tips like this, check out the rest of our website at Battle Arts Academy. We offer classes in jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing, weight training, and more. Contact us today to set up your free week trial.