Exercise is great for making us look and feel good, as well as keeping us physically active throughout our lives. Whether you’re a gym bunny or you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, improving your workout is always beneficial to get the most out of exercising.
How can I improve my workout performance?
In this blog post you’ll find some tips on how you can get the most out of your workout.
Improve your diet
One of my favourite sayings is ‘you can’t outrun a bad diet’. It’s so true. There’s a common misconception that those who exercise a lot can eat whatever they like as they’ll burn it off. Whilst they may burn it off, eating a diet full of junk is not good for you even if you are slim on the outside.
Not only could you be causing harm to your insides through poor diet, but not fuelling your body with the proper nutrition will cause your workouts to be less efficient too.
There are many athletes who swear their performance improved once they started to follow a nutritious plant based diet.
A plant based diet can reduce inflammation in the body and reduce oxidative stress. Both of these can aid in a faster post-workout recovery time.
Always take a rest day or two
Whilst you may be tempted to go to the gym to work out every single day, this can sometimes be counterproductive, especially if your aim is to build muscle. Your muscles need to sufficiently rest and recover in order to grow.
Eat the right foods post-workout
What you eat in the hours after your workout will aid your body’s post-workout recovery and will also set you up for your next workout. Make sure you choose a meal with protein and carbohydrate.
Whether you’re doing cardio or strength training, your muscles will need protein to recover so make sure you have a protein shake, snack or meal post-exercise.
Supplement with oxygen
One performance enhancing technique that sounds a little strange at first, but actually makes sense if you think about it is supplementing with fitness oxygen. This is also known as ‘oxygen loading’. It’s a safe and natural way to provide your body with extra energy immediately before working out or during the exercise.
Taking pure oxygen right before your workout will increase the percentage of oxygen in your blood. It will benefit your workout performance by reducing tiredness, delaying the production of lactic acid, give energy and drive. It can also improve concentration and wellbeing.
This is something I’ve only just started incorporating into my own exercise routine, but strength training is so important. Weight lifting will help to build muscle, increase metabolism and burn more body fat. You should include some strength training at least a couple of days a week in your gym workouts.
…and then lift heavier weights
It’s great when the weights you are lifting start to feel really easy and you could lift for ages without breaking a sweat, but that’s a sign that you need to lift a heavier weight to continue to see results. Try increasing the weight a little each week to keep it challenging and to help get faster results in the gym.
It’s easy to think that the longer we spend working out, the better, but by increasing your workout time you’ll be reducing your intensity. It can be better to reduce your workout time to 30-40 minutes maximum and increase the intensity for better results.
Of course, if you’re new to exercise then build it up gradually, but once you can last for 30-40 minutes then start to improve the intensity in this time.
Drink plenty of water
Don’t just drink water when exercising, but drink it for the entire day to stay hydrated and energised. You’ll perform better when you’re hydrated and you’ll also want to replace all the water you lose through sweat!
Get enough sleep
Our bodies produce their own muscle-building hormones as we sleep so it’s important to get plenty of sleep to aid muscle growth and recovery.
Luckily plenty of exercise also benefits our quality of sleep, so it’s a happy cycle!
Find the workouts you enjoy
You’re not going to give it your all and you’ll be more likely to quit if you don’t enjoy the exercise you do. Find the cardio and workouts you enjoy most so you’ll stick at it. Give it a few sessions though if you’re new to exercise, as you probably won’t enjoy anything to start with!
You’ll get the most out of your workouts if you at least turn up and stay motivated to exercise! Many people start with good intentions, such as in the New Year or before a holiday, but soon give up. Take a look at my workout motivation tips to find something to motivate you.
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This is a collaborative post. The photos are from Canva.