Because athletic performance begins to suffer after losing as little as 2% of your body weight through sweat, starting a workout or competition adequately hydrated is a good idea. Don’t over-do it. Drinking when thirsty is a good basic rule.
Get your body ready for exercise with some low intensity effort before you dive into today's physical challenge. It could be stretching or even walking to the gym instead of driving. You might also want to warm up with a light jog or running in place for 30 seconds to get your blood flowing and muscles ready for more strenuous activity.
Consuming protein before exercise can help spare muscle tissue from excessive breakdown. This might be a good approach before endurance running, cycling or long periods of high physical output. After strength training, protein helps spark the recovery process. Muscle tissue is broken down during training, and rebuilt with adequate nutrition, rest and amino acids from protein. This process can take up to 48 hours to complete.
There's a right way and a number of wrong ways to perform just about any exercise. If you aren’t sure about how to do it correctly, get expert advice. Doing exercises with improper form can impair your results and even lead to injury in a worst case scenario.
Exercise where your heart rate remains between 55% and 85% of theoretical maximum for 20 to 30 minutes can help improve your level of fitness. To roughly determine your max heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
If you don't have access to a gym or traditional strength training equipment don’t worry because body weight exercises are a great way to build strength and get in shape. Exercises like push-ups, lunges, pull-ups, planks, burpees, sit-ups and jumping jacks can be done in the comfort of your home, require very minimal equipment and are sure to get your blood pumping.
Pick an amount of weight that you can lift 10 times. If you're struggling after 8 repetitions, use a lighter weight. If you easily completed 10 reps, add more. The amount of weight will vary between different resistance exercises. Once you determine a weight you’re comfortable training with, use it for a couple weeks before attempting more reps or more weight. Building strength is a gradual process.
You don't want to train the same muscles every day, because recovery can take up to 48 hours to complete. Instead, train upper body muscle groups one day then lower body muscles the next. Putting a cardio day in between is also a good idea.
When you do the same exercises in the same order every time you go to the gym, your body no longer has to adapt. Goals are realized through adaptation, so change things up in your training every 6 to 8 weeks; whenever your routine becomes too routine. This can be as simple as changing the order of exercises you perform, changing up the number of sets or repetitions you perform per exercise or increasing the amount of weight you use for a specific exercise.
Everyone has an exercise that they’d like to get better at. Whether you can't do it to your own high expectations, or even at all, practice makes perfect. Start each exercise session with your worst exercise, or one you’re determined to get better at. Before long you’re likely to notice some progress.
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