Spring is in the air and so is the desire to get fit. With summer just around the corner, getting rid of that ‘winter bod’ is on many people’s minds. Here is some advice to help you jumpstart that spring fitness regime especially if you aren’t used to working out.
- Listen to your body. When it comes to working out, pushing ourselves is a tried and true way to make progress toward fitness goals. But what about when we push too hard? In the face of pain, we’re putting ourselves in danger of injury. Make sure you listen to your body’s signals and prioritize recovery days.
- Eat well. Before your workout eat carbs and protein, but eat early. Give yourself 90 minutes to two hours before your workout. Limit your fiber and fat, these can lead to a sick tummy. But don’t go hungry! You definitely need to fuel up for that workout. Post-workout go for a blend of carbs and protein. Aim to do this within one hour of completing your workout, to help with your muscle recovery process.
- Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water before, during and after your workout is a surefire way to put you on a path to dehydration doom. Tossing back H2O helps us fight fatigue and prolongs endurance. In addition to drinking plenty of water all day long, aim to sip seven to 10 oz of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise to stay properly hydrated. If you’re working out for longer than an hour or doing a particularly intense exercise, you’ll probably need to replace electrolytes too – this is where coconut water comes in handy. Coconut water is naturally packed with electrolytes and is a great source of potassium.
- Stretch. One of the most overlooked aspects of exercise is stretching after a strenuous workout. Stretching tired and sore muscles after a workout is essential to enhance flexibility, reduce muscle tension and help muscles recover and repair. Stretching can also reduce your predisposition to injury.
- Get sleep. Athletes know that when they are training they need to go to bed an hour early. Getting enough sleep is crucial for athletic performance. Even if you aren’t an athlete in training you still need good sleep to help with recovery to maintain and improve performance and prevent injury. Deep sleep is most important because this is when growth hormones are released. Growth hormones stimulate muscle growth and repair, bone building and fat burning. Get your zzzs.
So listen to your body and become more mindful on your fitness journey. Know that habits don’t form overnight and consistency is key. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see changes immediately. Just never give up. Pick a workout you like – or at least don’t hate – and that is convenient enough that you will do it consistently. You will find your strong!