Are you exercising the proper way?
Exercise is great for everyone, no matter which program you pick, exercise will get you healthy, feel better and best of all look better. However don’t just jump straight into a crazy work out routine without doing the proper planning. No I’m not talking about planning on which shoes to wear, or which sports bra you should put on. The planning I am talking about is for your body, if you take proper planning and precautions then you have a better chance of avoiding injury. You should also take baby steps with workout programs, don’t think you can jump into an advanced body building program without mastering the basics first. You must first build a solid foundation before you can get those sexy muscles.
An Olympic sprinter would never jump out of bed after 8 hours of sleep and then sprint as fast and as hard as he could. He takes the time to warm up, they want to get the blood flowing in their body before they go on a full blow sprint. You should do the same, before any work out you should take the 5-10 minutes to warm up and get the blood in your body flowing. You can do anything, from a brisk walk on the treadmill, a run or jog, hop on the stationary bike, do jumping jacks or plyometric’s, grab ahold of the battle ropes. Anything to get the blood flowing. You also want to make sure you do a proper cool down as well. A good short walk or light jog afterwards works well to slowly lower your heart rate back to normal.
You always want to stretch before you work out. The type of stretching depends on which phase you are in. If you are in a stabilization or corrective phase then you need to do self-myofascial release on a foam roller and you need to do static stretching where you hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. If you are in a strength phase then you need to do active stretching and self-myofascial release, this is where you lengthen the muscle and hold it for 2 seconds and then release. If you are in a power phase then you need to do dynamic stretching and self-myofascial release. You are moving your joint in a complete motion, for example. Walking lunges, bodyweight squats, jumping jacks, front to back leg swings, side to side leg swings, and high knees.
Buy the right equipment
You wouldn’t put pajama pants on with a formal dress. So why would you wear the wrong type of shoes to the gym? Not everyone has the same type of arch in their feet and not everyone has the same gait. Some people are flat footed, some people pronate when their foot strikes the ground and some supinate. I would highly recommend you stop by a specialty shoe store and have your gait examined by a professional so you can know which type of shoe you need to get. You also should be wearing the proper workout attire. You need lightweight, and something that releases body heat during the summer. During the winter you don’t necessarily need thick clothing anymore, with the technology we have today you can get buy lightweight winter attire. If you can’t afford the price tag of these items then you should layer clothing.
Drink more water
This should be a no brainer. Chances are you might not be drinking enough water as it is and if you are physically active then you need to increase your water intake. You should realistically drink anywhere from half an ounce to an ouce of water per pound of bodyweight. So if you weight 150lbs you should drink 75 ounces to 150 ounces of water every day. For reference 1 gallon is 128 ounces. When you are exercising you are sweating out a lot of fluids and you are losing water when you sweat. If you don’t replenish the lost water then you could end up dehydrating yourself.
Rest rest rest
Intensity is importing during exercise but resting is also equally as important. If you did weight training then ideally you should not retrain the same muscles for 24-48 hours. When you put resistance on your muscles you end up tearing the muscle fibers and then it takes time for them to grow, whenever they regrow they get a tiny bit bigger. This is the most basic explanation of how muscles grow, if you don’t let them rest then they will not have a chance to heal and you could hinder muscle growth or over train. It is ok to be active the next day, this is called active recovery. For example, running around the house chasing the kids, or taking the dogs on a walk to the park, you aren’t weight training and you aren’t doing intensive cardio but you are being active.