Looking to get into shape in the new year? Many of us are.
Millions of people across the world will set self-improvement goals for 2020 but statistically speaking, most of them won’t succeed. Why? Because they haven’t properly prepared themselves to make the right changes.
When it comes to working out, there are smart, healthy, effective ways to do it, and there are ways that will leave you feeling defeated.
So if you want to work on your best body in the new year, check out the tips below for some useful ideas to get you started and to keep you going.
This is the step many people miss out – what to do before your workout to prepare your body for the exertion and protect you from injury. If you don’t fuel up, hydrate, and warm-up, you might find yourself flagging and failing before you really get started.
Focus on getting plenty of good sleep. Keep yourself properly hydrated throughout the day. Eat a snack that is going to keep you energized throughout the workout (or having something ready to go for when you’re done). Invest in some suitable workout gear (with a particular focus on safe footwear). Check out best pre-workout UK for any additional supplements that might work for you.
And most importantly of all, work in a ten minute (at least) physical warm-up to raise your body temperature, increase range of motion, and prepare yourself for what you’re about to do. Make sure to move gently through stretches in every area of the body.
Weight training is crucial for building muscle and sculpting the body you want. But as tempting as it might be, you can’t just skip the cardio. If you want to stay in shape and improve your overall health, you need to build cardio exercise into your routine for good.
Find more than one form of cardio that you enjoy and can work on. Running is a great, cheap, low investment form of cardio exercise, but try throwing in some jump-rope, interval training, cycling or swimming to vary your exercise, keep you engaged and challenge different parts of your body.
If you’re limited on time, try toning up on the treadmill. With a 3-5 pound dumbbell in each hand, set the speed to a brisk walk and do a 60-second set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk, for an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. You can check this guide on FitnessOnTrack– how to buy a treadmill for home use.
Strategy is important when it comes to weight training. It’s no use turning up at the gym with no plan and aimlessly making your way through the equipment.
So before you leave the house, set yourself some goals and make sure to track your progress. If you can do the maximum number of suggested reps (usually 10-12) without feeling fatigued, add pounds (10-15 per cent at a time), and monitor your progress.
To balance your body (helping to avoid injuries, build good posture, and ensure you have strength for your favourite activities), do exercises for opposing muscle groups. During your weekly routines, if you work the quads, for example, do exercises for your hamstrings as well. The same applies for the biceps and triceps, chest and back and lower back and abs.
Make sure to take days off on each muscle group to give them time to repair and adapt. Change things up when you can so you are always pushing yourself, learn new things, speak to people in the know, and stay on your toes – your health and fitness is a journey that changes as you grow.
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