7 things every workout should include
A workout is a workout, right? Well, actually, it isn't that simple. You work out to keep yourself fit, build up strength and endurance for a healthier and more enjoyable life. So here are some things you need to optimise your workout every time.
1. Eat before you work out
Working out with a light healthy meal in your stomach can help burn more calories. Fruit and nuts, low-fat yogurt or cereal with some fruit are all good choices. We're not talking about a meal here, and don't forget the water!
2. Warm up before you burn out
Exercising in the cold means your muscles are still stiff. Your body is unprepared. Your heart and blood circulation are still sluggish. This puts you at risk of injury, so make sure you warm up first - every time!
3. Push up your endurance with cardio
Cardio can mean any activity which uses your large muscles actively. It gets your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and your stamina extended. Take a brisk walk, or get on the treadmill. Aim for 30 minutes cardio five times a week. Be sure to get professional advice, regarding your specific circumstances.
4. Burn more fat with strength training
Cardio gives you terrific stamina. Including strength training in your workout twice a week helps build lean muscle mass which is crucial for keeping fat burning all day long. Our friendly physiotherapists will help you choose appropriate cardio and weights for your age and fitness level.
5. Extend yourself with stretches
Once you've warmed up, do a few dynamic stretches before your workout. Stretch every muscle you're going to use, slowly, as far as it will go without pain, holding it for 30 seconds. Be gentle and steady.
Cool down with a few static stretches. Your muscles are most flexible at this time. Make sure you learn the right technique - our physiotherapists will be glad to show you.
6. Mix it up for more challenge
Your muscles adapt when they are exposed to a certain set of movements five or six times. Interval training at least twice a week, but not on back-to-back days, is your best bet. Push yourself to the maximum for a few seconds every two minutes or so. Mix up your routines. You'll also look forward to these frequent changes; it will motivate you to keep going.
7. Concentrate on the core
All your body movements flow from or pass through your "core". This means the muscles supporting backbone and abdomen. A firm core means more graceful and efficient actions. Core muscle workouts lessen your risk of injury tremendously. Ask us to show you how you can strengthen your core.
Strong people are naturally able to do a lot of things others can't – and that makes their lives more varied, more challenging and more satisfying. So go ahead – make an appointment with us to find out how to build up your routine for fitness!
Laugh yourself healthy
Laughing your way to fitness? Well, we're not there yet, but we're on the way! Would you believe that a good belly laugh can raise your heart rate and get your blood moving? And that's not all.
Laughing your guts out moves a lot of muscles. It strengthens your immune system. It gets rid of a lot of blood sugar. You digest faster and better if you're laughing than if you're glum and serious.
And if you have trouble sleeping, laughing therapy could beat sleeping pills. Especially if you have pain that disturbs your sleep, try the natural release that comes from laughing heartily at your favorite comedian for ten minutes. It will help you enjoy a good deep sleep.
Of course, laughing at a silly movie together bonds couples and friends together. What relaxes you better than giggling helplessly together till you're rolling on the floor!
And what about stress? Well, it looks like there's nothing that laughing can't blow away. If you have a tight deadline, and your boss is screaming, would you work better for laughing away the memory or for grinding your teeth?
One thing's for sure: if you know how to laugh your heart lasts longer. So eat right, exercise and laugh your cares away.
Stretching not only benefits your body but your mind and emotions too. After a good stretch you feel more relaxed and peaceful. Stretching is one of the best ways to boost your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel good physically.
Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed. Health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied.
~ Charles Caleb Colton
From the archives:
Physiotherapy can help you regain or improve your flexibility so you can look and feel better and function at your optimum. Read more
Drink more water
Just about any important health-related goal (e.g. adding lean muscle mass, losing excess body fat, improving functional or athletic fitness, etc) is achievable in part by drinking more water. Read more
Getting good sleep
Along with good eating habits and regular exercise, getting proper sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people discount the importance of a good night’s sleep. Read more
Depression and anxiety
When you are depressed, the last thing you want to think of is exercise, however, a physiotherapist can help you begin moving gradually. Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin - the feel-good hormones - which stabilise your mood and help you feel better. Read more
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