Every active person on the planet knows the pain of working yourself too hard.
When you are tempering your body for physical fitness, you have to walk a fine line between caring for yourself and pushing your limits. If you are too far on either side, you will not be maximising your potential.
Injuries crop up often and you can easily relegate yourself to a bed because you did not know when to stop. Problems like these can often be the result of simple oversights in your workout regime.
We have compiled five straightforward methods to ensure your workout leaves you exhausted in a good way, not laid out on your back for everyone to see.
Your muscles are not always ready to go from relaxed to workout mode in a heartbeat. Before you begin a workout, take some time to get your body warmed up. Stretching not only increases blood flow in muscle tissue, but it adapts them to being stretched, compressed, and stressed to their limit. Stretching is really exerting a great amount of strain upon a muscle in a slow and controlled method, which makes it slightly painful. This pain is acceptable though in contrast to a full muscle cramp in the middle of a two-kilometre run.
Do not cut stretching short either. It is tempting to arch your legs, touch your toes, stand back up and get running. Limited stretching is an invitation to get injured. Avoiding a painful leg cramp or damaging muscles tissue can be as easy as taking an extra five to eight minutes to stretch out every muscle you can.
2. Warming Up and Cooling Down
After you have stretched your muscles, do not dive into the hardest part of the workout. A quick search into common workout routines will reveal that many techniques recommend small amounts of reps before the larger amounts and then smaller amounts of reps afterwards as well. This is because these health professionals know that working out is serious business for your body. These warm up reps are important for attaining your best results. Muscles need time to fire up and get the blood rushing through them. Only once they have had a few attempts and have been activated can you begin to push those muscles to the limit.
Once you hit that high mark, be it benching a new record or finishing a fast sprint, heading straight to the showers is not what you want to do. Stressing your muscles to their limit puts them in a place where they are very active. You have effectively given them an energy shot and they still want to do things. If you squander that energy they will expend it on the next opportunity. You may be familiar with this after a long run. After sprinting into a walk, you may feel your calves seize up. Cool down reps are just as important as the warm up. This gradual decline in reps or speed helps your body adjust back to the baseline strain of activity. Ignoring these cool down workouts can lead to enduring cramps or worse.
3. Keep hydrated
There is a reason why soft drinks don’t quite cut it. Water fuels every function of our body, and with a strenuous workout, you will need a lot of hydration.
It cannot be overstated how much water your body needs to successfully fuel it. You need to drink water regularly for two hours before you begin working out. It is a little known fact that you are hydrated only when you feel as though you'd explode from drinking any more water, not merely when you think you've had enough. Drink water until you are sick of it. That is the only way to ensure a healthy stock of fluids for a workout.
Guzzling water should not stop once you strap on your running shoes. During the workout, you should have a bottle of water with you. Your body will use up and expel a lot of water as you exhaust it. Without keeping this supply of water high, you may end up dehydrated very quickly and unable to continue what would have been a great workout. Maintain a very high hydration level at all times before, during and after a workout to ensure your body does its very best.
4. Using the Right Equipment
Like every hobby in life, working out has some required tools. Depending on the type of workout you want to do, or part of your body you want to improve, you will need the right equipment. Whether this includes weights, a treadmill, or a yoga mat, you will need to know how to perform these exercises properly, and with the correct form. Doing so will not only improve your performance and help you to target certain muscles, but it will also ensure that you do not injure yourself in the process.
The correct equipment also includes what you wear. An important aspect of most workouts is the type of shoes that you wear. It’s important to find a pair that will support your feet with what you specifically want to achieve. For a good pair of shoes, you want to consider how comfortable they are and whether they fit you properly. If you are doing a lot of running, it is especially necessary for you to have adequate cushioning so that the shoes can absorb the shock.
Similarly, wearing the certain clothing will supports your body’s movement will improve your chances of avoiding injury. Compression wear is a good way to ensure that you have adequate blood flow, that you aren’t sweating excessively, and that your body can breathe while you are working out. Supacore’s compression clothing also has a built in, super supportive structure that supports your core’s movement and stability throughout a workout.
5. Know Your Limits
This is an especially concerning problem for those new to working out. The eager person can dive into the gym or running track with the desire to cut that fat as fast as possible. The novice will think that means going as hard and quickly as possible.
When you begin, you must pace yourself. It may frustrate you by running at a slow pace for only a half an hour, but your body is adapting to the strain of exercise. Running too hard can wear on your body and lead to problems that will creep up on you at the worst time possible. A solid, medically agreed upon rate of improvement should be to increase your workout load by 10% a week. Be it 10% more weights or increasing your running distance by 10%, this curve is ideal for the rate that your body heals.
You should listen to what your body is telling you. There is the temptation to be a cold, workout machine that ignores pain, but ignoring pain is like ignoring a blaring smoke detector. If your legs are sore give them some time to heal before running again. If the pain endures this may point to an injury that is more than just a strain. Seek medical attention if you suffer chronic pain of any kind.
Overall, in order to perform at your peak and to achieve your goals, it is important to avoid injury. Improvement stems from your body being able to bounce back after each workout, so contracting an injury will hinder your progress. Understanding how your body moves, and how you can keep up momentum during your workout will help you to avoid injury and ensure that you can continue getting results.