For many of us, being able to fit exercise into our busy lives is high on our priority list. We feel good when we can get a workout into our schedule and even better when they become a regular part of our week.
But there are ways we can benefit even more from our fitness routines.
Finding that important balance between exercise and basic self-care can create better overall results from your workout schedule. Nutrition, sleep, dietary supplements and even things like whether you’re mixing up your routine all play a part in the quality of results you can see.
Let’s take a look at a few simple ways you can be getting the most out of your workouts.
Start with a healthy diet
You might think that because your workout routine is solid, you should be able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want with no harmful effects. You’re burning off all those extra calories, right?
But skipping breakfast, grabbing coffee and a bagel for lunch, then heading to the nearest drive-thru window for dinner is not doing you any favors, no matter how hard you are hitting the gym. Your daily diet is the foundation for any effective fitness plan.
Healthy eating means you are taking care of your body and setting the stage for your next great workout. Here are a few things to remember if you need to retool the way you are eating:
- Make fruits and vegetables part of your food choices at each and every meal.
- Avoid eating at restaurants on a regular basis or make smart choices if you do.
- It’s all about balance. Choose a lighter option for some of your meals. If you have a heavy lunch, opt for soup, salad and fruit for dinner.
- Use fresh ingredients in the meals you cook at home.
- Do meal prep for at least three dinners a week.
- Pack and take healthy lunches to work.
Consider nutritional supplements
Nutritional supplements can help fill the gaps and support your efforts while you work to get on track with a healthy diet. Choose one that works for you.
Nutrilite™ Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables, for example, is made with whole food extracts and is rich with phytonutrients – the nutrients that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors and health benefits. Each daily supplement provides the phytonutrient equivalent of more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Remember to drink water
Some people are starting off on the wrong foot before they even begin their workouts by not drinking enough water throughout the rest of the day. Staying hydrated is important before, during and after you exercise.
Being mildly dehydrated before you start can make your workout actually feel more difficult. You may be moving slowly or feel sluggish, and it can hamper your body’s ability to recover. If you are moderately dehydrated, the symptoms can be more serious, including dizziness and even confusion.
To make drinking your water a little more fun, try adding flavor, like XS™ Sports Twist Tubes in fruit punch or lemon-lime. It turns your regular water into a refreshing sports drink that contains a unique blend of B vitamins and selenium designed to help your body fight unwanted free radicals†.
Make free weights part of your routine
Those weight machines at the gym can be really convenient, but to amp up your workouts, make it a point to use free weights when you can.
Stationary machines are designed to target specific muscle groups and offer support to the rest of your body during the workout. Dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, hand weights or flexible weighted poles all allow you to use a larger range of muscles as you work to stay balanced and steady during your movements.
Free weights are also much less expensive so are easy to use at home. A set or two of them at home, paired with your commitment to solid workouts, can give you muscle-building results just as good as you’d get from a pricey gym membership.
Shake up your workout routine
Maybe you feel like you’re in a great, highly-scheduled workout routine. You have your leg days, your arm days and you’ve developed a predictable rotation of cardio, weights and yoga. But this strict, unwavering pattern might not be doing your fitness goals any favors. You want to shake up your routine to keep your body guessing.
When you make it a point to do multiple variations of an exercise, it changes how your muscles are being used. It can also change the results. For example, squats are a great exercise that uses your legs, glutes and core muscles. But add in a variation – a heel lift or some hand weights, and it will lead to greater fitness gains than if you had just done regular squats month after month.
Get a good night’s rest
One answer to squeezing more out of your workout can be found in your bedroom. Poor sleep can affect your exercise performance and your body’s ability to bounce back after a workout. A good night’s sleep gives your tired muscles and body time to recover and get stronger. If you struggle to relax at night, consider a supplement like Nutrilite™ Sleep Health. It features a blend of lemon balm, valerian and hops to help you relax so you can fall asleep†.
Protein is not only the building block of muscles, but food and drinks containing protein can help your muscles recover after a tough workout. Protein also helps you keep lean muscle longer. Consuming protein helps build your muscles back up after a workout.
There are lots of specially-packaged protein drinks and nutrition bars you can grab after a workout. Choices range from XS™ Protein Pods, made with high-quality whey protein, to Nutrilite™ All Plant Protein Powder, which is dairy and lactose free. Another convenient option is BodyKey by Nutrilite™ Meal Replacement Shake Mix, which has 20g of protein per serving.
Put it in action
So, take a look at your fitness routine and see if any of these tips can help you get even more out of it. Start by taking a close look at your daily nutrition, consider what vitamins and supplements you might need to bolster your diet, add a few new moves and free weights, make sure you are getting enough sleep and boost your protein intake.
When your body is prepared, the difference will show up in your results. Get more fitness tips from other blogs at Amway Connections. And to learn more about the products mentioned here, visit Amway.com or Amway.ca.
†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.