Fitness

Ready to Workout? First Things First

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Make the most of your workouts by doing these simple things before you start.

Mind Your Mindset – If you are like me, exercise is a healthy release & distraction from the demands of daily life. Prepare your mind for the “mental health break” by switching your focus off the daily demands. Think about things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Think about how good it feels to do something healthy for yourself, think about how good it feels when the workout is done – that glorious natural high that gets you through the rest of the day.

Workout with a Purpose – If you are following a specific training plan, do the workout! If you have goals you are trying to reach, pursue them vigorously. This is where you recall your WHY. Why am I exercising? Why is it important to me? At the same time, not every workout can be your best, or fastest, or strongest. Remember good form and the techniques you need for your particular exercise. Get good at the skills & techniques before trying to lift more, go faster, do more reps, etc. to avoid injury.

Budget Your Time – Sometimes work, circumstances, or just life gets in the way of your scheduled workout time, or forces you to cut it short. Some exercise is better than none. Take advantage of the time you have. However, if you are routinely cutting your workout short, then you likely are not budgeting your time effectively. Make the necessary adjustments to your day to maximize your workout time. Make it an appointment in your calendar that can’t be interrupted but for emergency.

Feed the Machine – Preparing for your workout includes having quality calories and hydration in your system. For especially long or intense workouts, this preparation needs to start well ahead of your workout appointment.

Muscle Activation – Don’t forget to warm up. Don’t do static stretching before your run, for example. Instead, begin slow and controlled with movements similar to what your workout will be. These movements will help the brain and muscles communicate better and prepare your body for the work ahead.

That may feel like a lot of work before your workout, but it should really only take a few minutes. Mental preparation is important. Get maximum results from your workout time with these simple preparation steps.

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