Getting the most out of your work out.
Treat your body like a car and understand that you need to fuel it up before exerting energy. Carbs and proteins are your friends and should be consumed in some form prior to a workout to ensure a steady release of energy, to keep your glycogen stores stocked up and to help avoid putting your body into a catabolic state in which it breaks down muscle protein. Try munching a banana half an hour before you work out – it is a great source of natural sugar, simple carbohydrates and potassium. If you are planning to eat a proper meal before you work out, ensure you leave a couple of hours before you start exercising. You can’t go wrong with the staple chicken, rice and vegetable combo.
Time to replace all that energy you burned off. Depending on how hard a workout you have had, think a healthy pasta dish, some tasty tatties or pulses and grains to refuel your body post workout and add in some protein in the form of chicken, fish or eggs. Joe Wicks has some delicious post workout recipes that are healthy and quick to prepare, follow him on Instagram @thebodycoach.
Water is a winner
Water is the juice of the gods. It is essential to keep hydrated while exercising as water pretty much does everything in your body, from regulating your body temperature and lubricating your joints to transporting nutrients in and waste products out of your cells. Ensure you keep sipping water throughout your work out to keep hydrated.
Sports drinks are overrated
Forget expensive sports drinks that claim to ‘improve performance’ and stick to water. Nutritionist Emma Brown says: “My rule of thumb is simple: if you’re exercising heavily for longer than an hour, you can easily and cheaply rehydrate and replace any lost minerals by drinking a glass containing half water, half fresh orange juice and a pinch of salt.
“If you are not exercising this long, do your health – and your purse – a favour and instead drink a glass of cold water.”
The ultimate playlist
Music can play a huge part in your workout. Make a playlist of songs that you love, it will keep you going through a tough session. It’s amazing how a good song can change your mind set, make you pick up your pace or push you to do that little bit extra.
Set workout goals
Setting out what you want to achieve can be that extra motivator to ensuring you reach your workout goals. Make a plan of the distance you want to do, the calories you want to burn or the reps you want to reach, having something to aim for will help you reach your goals.