February 26, 2019
It’s GO Time! 5 Tips For Improving Your Workouts
TruMove—promoting healthier living through movement care and education in Overland Park KS, the greater Kansas City area, and beyond.
You’re exercising, you’re on the move, and you’re feeling good. You’ve got a positive mindset and you eat challenges for breakfast. So why then does it seem that your fitness and performance levels have plateaued? There may be several factors at play, but here are 5 simple tips to help you get the most out of your workouts. It’s GO time, people! Rise and shine.
Tip #1: Warm it up before you go-go!
We take the time to warm up our vehicles before driving away in frigid temps, so why not treat your body with a similar approach? Even if you are a finely-tuned machine, your body will operate more efficiently if you warm up first. Before you shift into overdrive with a maximum intensity workout, take the time to participate in mobility and plyometric exercises and light cardio to increase your heart rate. Doing so will not only prepare your body to handle the demands of a hard workout, but it will likely aid in improving your performance. Furthermore, conducting a proper warm-up will allow you to evaluate how your body feels that day, enabling you to set realistic goals for the day’s workout intensity and duration.
Tip #2: Cookie-cutters are for baking, not for workouts. Do YOU!
While it is common to search for appealing exercise programs online or to copy the routine of a celebrity or friend who has found success, this approach will likely not yield the best results for YOU. Exercise routines that work for some (especially those with extra “frosting and sprinkles” gimmicks), do not work for all. Don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to your workouts. Choose movement patterns and parameters that address your specific limitations and/or areas of desired improvement. This will enable you to accomplish your personal fitness goals while simultaneously reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. A TruMove physical therapist can work with you to determine exercises and modifications that are best suited for you. Start cooking up your own customized recipe for sweeeeeet success!
Tip #3: Mix it up.
As someone who partakes in routine exercise, you may be familiar with the “overload principle” which concludes that improvement results from exposure to an unaccustomed stimulus. Therefore, many gym-goers feel that if they move faster or increase the amount of weight with each workout, they will continue to improve in speed, strength and endurance. However, continually increasing your workout load will soon result in overtraining, yielding adverse effects including reduced performance, increased muscle fatigue and often injury. Mix things up! Vary the activity and the intensity. Not only will your body be able to better handle your workout demands, but your performance will likely improve and you are less likely to “burn out.” If exercise is forever an uphill battle, the appeal may start to fade and excuses start to fly. Keep your mind and your body fully engaged by changing things up. A TruMove PT would be happy to assist you in designing a customized program with varying intensities.
Tip #4: Downtime is not frown-time. Use it wisely!
Taking time to recoup between workouts is not a sign of weakness – quite the opposite actually and your body will thank you for it. Rest and recovery is an extremely important component in your weekly exercise routine. Workouts are highly taxing activities on your body. Thus, adequate time and a healthy environment to recover is essential. Create an optimal environment for your muscle tissues to heal and grow by eating healthy foods in appropriate portions, frequently drinking water, and routinely sleeping more than 6 hours per night. Don’t be afraid to take sporadic days off from working out either – it will aid in recovery and enhance long-term adherence to your exercise program.
Tip #5: Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
When your body starts talking, listen. If you encounter aches and pains during your workouts, reference TruMove’s online educational library of articles and videos to discover initial ways to promote healing. If you are unsuccessful in self-managing your symptoms within the first week or believe your condition is more urgent, please contact TruMove so that you can be evaluated by a physical therapist as soon as possible. This rapid response (ideally within the first two weeks) following an acute injury will typically drastically reduce the time and money spent on recovery and improve your outcomes, enabling you to return to your active lifestyle with limitless possibilities.
As always, if you have any questions about your symptoms, available treatments, or how to prevent future injury, please reach out to us or visit our clinic in Overland Park, KS. We have been serving the Kansas City area for over a decade and continue to expand our outreach, always striving for Better Health Through Motion!