If you're feeling like you're getting lackluster results at the gym, it may be time to mix things up. Here's a look at some of the best ways to optimize your performance with more focus, concentration, and recovery time.
1) Lift Weights
Cardio helps strengthen your endurance and improve your cardiovascular system, heart, and blood vessels. But only focusing on cardio alone could be sabotaging your results. Resistance training and lifting weights help build muscle and increase your metabolism.
2) Listen to Music Before and After Your Workout
Listening to energy-pumping music can help you feel more motivated a the gym, but listening to it after your workout also matters. After your training, listening to slow or relaxing music boosts a faster recovery time, serotonin, and dopamine.
3) Do Workout Intervals
There's a reason HIIT workouts and intervals are trending. Working out with high-intensity exercises with short breaks promotes more fat-loss benefits. Try a combination of pushups, burpees, and squats followed by a quirk rest or jog on the treadmill. The results could be increased calorie burning and faster results from all of your hard work.
4) Eat More Protein
Eating a diet packed with protein supports muscle growth and encourages muscles to heal or prevent lean mass. The good news is meat, nuts, and leafy greens are all excellent sources of protein. But what if you can't get in enough to make a difference in your energy levels? Workout supplements could help.
5) Reach for the Chocolate Milk (Really!)
It may sound unbelievable, but low-fat chocolate milk can actually improve your workout results. The Journal of Exercise Physiology found the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein helps stimulate muscle repair and replenish your energy stores. Of course, a little low-fat milk goes a long way. Try a glass after your next workout and save the rest for tomorrow.
6) Get an Accountability Buddy
An accountability buddy may be just as effective, if not more so, than a personal trainer. Grab a friend or acquaintance at the gym to help each other stay accountable to fitness goals. Turn it into a healthy competition and see your results at the gym skyrocket. Studies also found that a partner not actively trying to lose weight saw success in some lost pounds.
7) Indulge in a Massage
There's nothing like a relaxing massage after a workout or the next day. Massages help relieve tension, stretch out muscle fibers to prevent tightness, and delay muscle soreness. You can rub down your legs or arms on your own, grab a handheld massage tool, or book a regular session to soothe your muscles.
8) Stay Hydrated
There's a reason staying hydrated always makes the workout must-do list. Drinking fluids maintain concentration and energy levels and increase endurance. It also helps your heart from fluctuating and elevating, which can derail your workout.
9) Vary Your Workout
Varying your exercises and mixing things up helps you stay physically fit. Evidence suggests your muscular system will adapt to an exercise program in as little as six weeks. Keep your body guessing by introducing new workouts. You'll also keep yourself from getting bored with the same old routine.
10) Sleep More
Sleep is one of the most integral parts of a solid workout routine and results. Sleep helps your body recover from the previous day and helps strengthen your muscles and tissues. The improved rest also helps your endurance, focus, concentration, and mood in the gym.
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