Although we don’t want to work out the same muscle groups every day, we do want to move each day. So just because you aren’t “exercising” remember it is important to fit activity in. Active rest is a great way to re-focus your movement goal for the day and find fun things to do that are part of a healthy lifestyle. Play a round of golf – ride or walk, deadhead your flowers, do light cleaning/housework, go for a walk to notice your environment and see how many things you didn’t notice while running the same course, play with your kids, pets, friends in the park. There are lots of ways to build movement into your day, bring blood and nutrients to those parts that are in repair after your last cardio or strength session, and begin to see your life as an active one all the time.
It is very important to eat well and fuel well for workouts. Food is just fuel for the body. If the body isn’t fueled well it is not going to work as hard as it can. By taking in a snack before and after your workout you set your body up to work hard and return to your next workout ready to work hard. Pre workout look for a protein and carb snack, something like:
- Peanut butter and celery
- Cheese and crackers
- Cottage cheese and tomatoes.
- A bowl of cereal with milk (as long as milk doesn’t upset your stomach during a workout)
- Carrots and Hummus
- Steak/Chicken/Fish salad
Post workout, you could reach for a similar snack or even a higher carb to help replace your glycogen stores for your next workout. Remember these are part of your overall caloric intake.
One of the largest obstacles to working out is time. Many people struggle to find the time to fit in a workout. By planning ahead (check out this post on Fitting Fitness Into Your Day) this obstacle gets easier. In addition, give yourself priority. When looking at your commitments make sure you place yourself at the top of the list. Without health all those other priorities won’t be completed either. Put yourself at the top of the list and schedule your workout. Then keep the appointment just like you would if you were meeting with your boss.
Try this for 21 days and see what a difference it makes in the way you reach your goals.
Make sure you drink enough water. During workouts you want to make sure you are hydrated.
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Drink about 15-20 ounces (a gulp is about an ounce) a few hours prior to working out, 8 ounces every 15 minutes during your workout, and after your workout drink 16-20 ounces for every pound you lost while working out. This may mean you need to weigh yourself prior to working out and then again right after. Plain water is good enough.
Sports drinks are not necessary for workouts under an hour. IF you are working out longer than an hour replacing your electrolytes will be important. Here sugar free/low calorie sports drinks or Coconut Water are a great option. Careful on the sports drinks as they usually contain sugar, artificial flavors, and fake colors.
When changing a habit it is important to plan. As you look at your schedule it is important to “schedule” your workouts just like you would any other appointment. Pack your gym bag the night before: put your shoes, clothing, water bottle, hair ties, iPod, earphones, towel, etc. in the bag and place the bag in your car, near the door, with other items you will be taking with you. This sets you up to follow through on your plan and help you eliminate obstacles that could sidetrack you from your daily goal. The trick is to pick your goal, break it down into small simple steps, and then follow through on those steps.
How will you change your daily routine and implement your new plans so you succeed?
Personally for me, I make sure to have all my gear ready to go and easy to pack – Like K bands, shoes, and a good towel. These make it easy for me to get started and get back to work over my lunch hour.
Now I might have you thinking … WHAT you are able to fit this in over the lunch hour?!?!? If you are still wondering about timing or not sure how to get your workouts to fit into your day, check out this article on Fitting Your Workout Around Your Day.