Love a gym workout? Here are some tips to help make a visit that much better for your overall fitness.
Don’t: pack a sports drink.
Do: take a water bottle.
Sports drinks contain electrolytes, water and carbohydrates. They’re good for high-level athletes who are performing intense exercise of more than 60 minutes, says Australian Institute of Sport nutritionist Louise Burke. However, for the average gym-goer, they are high in kilojoules and you won’t sweat enough to lose excessive amounts of electrolytes.
Don’t: take a chatty friend.
Do: take a motivated workout buddy.
Scientists from Oxford University in the UK found that working out with a friend can give you a higher tolerance to pain and effort than going it alone. It also keeps you accountable. However, if you pick a friend who will talk you out of that extra set, you’ll be short-changing yourself.
Don’t: take an “I'll see how I feel” attitude.
Do: take a clear workout plan with you.
A balanced exercise regimen includes cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility. You don’t have to do all four in one session, but it’s important to tick all the boxes over the course of a week.
Don’t: wear heavy workout gear.
Do: take moisture-wicking workout gear.
There are still people who think the more they sweat, the more weight they’ll lose but all they get rid of is fluids, which have to be replaced. If you really want to lose weight, you have to work as hard as you can and the cooler you are, the more likely that is to happen.
Gym-goers should have a cool flannel on hand to wipe their face and pick a spot near the fan to help them stay cool.
Don’t: pack your favourite magazine.
Do: take your iPod.
You can’t focus on both your workout and your magazine. However, research from Brunel University in the UK has found that music can enhance endurance by 15 per cent, enabling you to work harder without even realising it. Tracks with a high energy of up to 140-plus beats per minute will help you pedal or run faster, and songs with motivational lyrics will help you perform with more energy.
For more fitness tips pick up the May issue of Good Health magazine or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.