5 Tips for Efficient Workouts
If you want to stay in shape in a safe and efficient manner, check out these tops tips from marathon-runner, and fitness instructor (and daughter of an ex-Navy SEAL), Maiah. Yep, hi, that's me!
Prepare in the right way and safe way for any workout with these steps. Whether you just want to do a gentle yoga class or you’re getting ready for a marathon, or you're on vacay and want to stick to a fit routine, there’s several steps to a healthy and safe workout and way of (fit) life.
Plus, when you prepare and warm up properly, you’re going to get more out of your workout. It's essential to take a few minutes beforehand rather that heading out the door on a whim for say, a 20-mile run (been there, messed that up). Here’s my tips for properly preparing for a workout to avoid the mistakes many of us fall into.
1. Plan It Out
Being prepared involves planning for your workout and then sticking to it, especially if you have an end goal of say, a marathon. If you plan out your schedule the week ahead (and jot it down), you'll be likelier to stick to it.
You need to prioritize your workouts to reach those goals or even just maintain that fitness level. Most of us can't drop everything and work out whenever we want, so planning is an absolute must.
If you aren't a morning person, try out a lunch time workout, or schedule a pm sweat sesh (Just not too close to bedtime).Try out various times to see what works for you. Many of us are on different internal body clocks when it comes to having optimal energy, so stick to the times when you know you'll be able to get energy up.
2. Pay Attention In the Kitchen
Yes it is fun to mindlessly eat chips or cereal in front of a screen (phones and computers included), but it is not productive to your health. I have been guilty of this countless times, but the times you make sure to eat mindfully and pay attention to the ingredients will make a huge difference. (Not to mention drink, plenty of water).
Get plenty of plant-based protein, fill up a nice gemstone water bottle (why not?) that you'll be sure to drink from, and eat whole foods to give you the energy boost you need for a great workout. Eating and hydrating well will enable your muscles to recover faster.
3. Roll It Out
Speaking of muscles, if you don't have a foam roller, you need one. There's a huge range of them out there, and there are super inexpensive ones that will do you a world of good. Yes you can get some amazing top-of-the-line ones that feel incredible post-intense rolling session, but even simple stick rollers can get the job done. Foam rolling may be even better for you than stretching according to many studies, and it helps you recover and heal your muscles, plus helps with flexibility.
4. Make Sure You’re Breathing Properly
Breathing properly throughout your workout and before is key to feeling great and keeping energy up. Warm up with some deep breathes and maybe even a few yoga moves to get the blood flowing. Have you ever yawned through a fitness class or workout? Yeah, you need to breathe more or at least better. Pushing through a tough session is much easier on your body when you're breathing efficiently.
Utilize tools like this book with all of its pro-breathing techniques. I know, obviously we all know how to breathe, but us runners especially know the importance of breathing right (or at least right for each of us).
Every time I think of preparing for a workout, I think of how one of my brothers would layout his outfit before school on the floor every night, complete with schools and socks, like a little flat version of himself. Now you see this all over Insta; lots of runners do this before a race featuring their bib plus their water bottles, hats, run gear and more. You don't need to show the world your flat fitness layout, but if you set aside your workout clothes or gym bag ready to go, you're more likely to seamlessly get out of that door (or bed) and start sweating.
Of course, there's a ton more you can do, and we're all individuals that ultimately need to figure out what works best for each of us, but this is a fantastic starting point. I'd love to hear from you what works for you, and what tips I didn't include that you swear by!