Are you exercising right?

Many people in the world work very hard trying to keep fit and reach their goals. The fact of the matter is the majority are doing something wrong without even knowing it. The key to exercising and becoming a healthier person is to let your diet and exercise programme work hand in hand. What I mean by this is, if you work hard in a gym three times a week for an hour but decide to have a pizza, kebab or any other take away as a regular food in your diet, you will not get the results you want. Not only is diet important, the type of exercise you do is just as important.

Here are a few tips that can help you on your way:

  • Always stay well hydrated before, during and after exercise – A dehydrated body will not perform to it’s best. Cramping can occur, a lack of energy will be noticeable and fatigue can set in very quick. If you feel thirsty the damage is already done!
  • When exercising regularly it is important to fuel the body right. A car will not run without petrol or diesel and the body is exactly the same without food. It is important to eat a high carbohydrate food at least two hours before exercising to enable you to work to your maximum.
  • When doing an exercise programme, make sure to mix things up a little. Your body will easily get used to doing the same repetitive programme so make sure you try something new every so often to keep your body on its toes! Don’t always stick to what your good at, try the things you’re not so good at and watch the progression.
  • A warm up and cool down is very important. Not only will the warm up stretch your muscles ready for exercise, it also helps the blood vessels in the body expand to allow oxygen round your body quicker. A warm down including a full body stretch can shift some of the lactic acid build up that occurred during your workout which causes stiffness in muscles. A cool down can reduce this stiffness helping you feel better the following day.
  • Finally, don’t over do it! It’s great to push yourself, but doing too much will just exhaust your body increasing the chances of pulled muscles or other injuries. REMEMBER….recovery/rest is just as important as your workout.

Put these five tips in to practice and you will notice some differences. Once you become more accomplished with exercising, you will then need the knowledge of exercise order and how to work each area of the body with the right exercise.

Enjoy your workout!

(Originally posted on Thursday, 15 April 2010)