guest post: 10 tips to get the most out of your workout!

So today is pretty exciting for me…I have my very first guest post! I’m up in New Jersey playing with my new nephew so I asked Sarah, a fellow fitness blogger, to jump on in and write a post for y’all. Sarah blogs over at Shh…Fit Happens and I knew I found a friend when I stumbled upon the fact that she’s located in the Lehigh Valley, where I went to college! Her blog is awesome for workouts, recipes, and more. Check out her tips below–thanks again, Sarah!

10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Sarah of Shh...Fit Happens

Sarah of Shh…Fit Happens

When Alison asked me to write a guest post for The Fit Chronicles, of course I said YES! We both are part of the fitness industry, online and off, and I love her blog, story, and perspective on health and fitness. So let us get right to it…believe it or not, two people can do the same workout on paper and get different results. I am going to break it down for you and share 10 tips to get the most out of YOUR workout!

1. Time of day

Choose to work out at the time of day that you are going to have the most energy, determination, and focus. If you are the type of person that just cannot seem to wake up and really get into exercising in the morning, then save your workout until later in the day when you have had time to fuel up and have more energy. However, if you feel tired, worn down, and unfocused after a long day at work, perhaps waking up early to fit in exercise will help to jump start your day. There is no magic time of day, just the time of day that works best for you!

2. Write it down

Write down what workout/exercises you do, how far you run, and what you eat as well as the time of day you completed each task and how you felt. Not only does this keep you accountable and on task, but writing down which exercises you completed helps you to see if you are over or under working a certain muscle group. Jotting down how far you run might mentally motivate you to push a little harder next time. And food journaling will make you more aware of what you are putting in your body and how those foods made you feel and affected your energy level.

3. Keep your core tight!

A study at Utah State University found a 167% increase in core activity during a squat when participants were reminded to keep abs tight. Ensuring that your abs and glutes are squeezed tight while performing exercises will improve strength, posture, and stability.

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4. Work larger muscle groups

Larger muscle groups burn more calories. Be sure to incorporate squats, lunges, and planks into your workout.

5. Stay hydrated

Our bodies are 80% water. A study at the University of Connecticut found that people can do 17 more reps per 3 sets when well-hydrated.

6. Blast your fave music

A study done at the College of Charleston found that exercisers performed 10 more reps while listening to their favorite music!

7. Don’t cheat yourself out of a killer workout!

Even when you are tired, make sure you are doing each exercise properly and try to go through the full range of motion. I so often see people squatting or lunging the littlest bit, really try to get down and feel that burn (safely, of course!). And when you can, do regular push ups instead of modified! However, never sacrifice your posture to push yourself harder, that is not safe and can lead to injury.

8. Change your workout often

Our bodies are amazing machines that adapt to stresses placed on it, including exercise. Your 30 minute jog at 5 mph will not burn as many calories in 2 months as it did when you first started. Incorporating different speeds, hills, distances, etc. will challenge your body and allow you to keep burning optimal calories.

9. Switch up your speed when lifting

Lowering a weight slowly and lifting it quickly resulted in 2.5 times more strength gains according to a study at the University of George Washington. (see a sample workout here)

lunge shh fit happens

10. Add exercises in throughout your day

Do a few quick sets of lunges or push ups before work or while watching TV, that way you have an extra 5 minutes or so to work something else during you regular workout.

Great tips, Sarah! Head on over to Shh…Fit Happens to see more!