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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Top 11 Tips For Energized Workouts


 Your gym bag is packed, your headphones are in the car, you have every intention of going to the gym and fitting in your workout. And then you leave work and you realize you are tired.
I get it. When I go to work, I am on my feet for a full 8 hours. And not just on my feet but moving, lifting, pushing and sometimes missing meals. I know what tired feels like. I also know, from experience, that when I do get to the gym, especially on those days that my couch is calling my name, I feel physically and mentally better than I would have had I simply skipped my workout.
Here's the thing. When you work out, endorphins start pumping through your body. Endorphins are your body's homegrown opiates. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals, that pump through your nervous system in response to things like sex, stress and yes, exercise. The result, is an oh-so-happy feeling that overrides that oh-so-tired feeling.
Some days, knowing that my body will give me that boost once I'm working out isn't enough. Here are my top tips to stay energized throughout the day, feel ready for the gym and not have to fight that mental battle.





 Hydrate!

 I cannot understate how important proper hydration is for keeping energy levels up: drink, drink, drink! Speaking from experience, chronic dehydration and under-hydration can lead to muscle aches, headaches, joint aches…your aches will have aches! Drink up and drink often. If you need more than water, drink some herbal tea or mix pieces of fruit in with your water for some flavor. My favorite is lime slices. 

Eat a Balanced Diet: Carbs, Protein, Fat


Complex carbs, lean proteins, healthy fats. Your body needs all of these macronutrients to work at its best.
Complex carbs like whole grains, vegetables and fruits provide your body with energy. That's pretty straight-forward. Carbs = energy. So if you are following the very trendy low-carb diet, make sure that you don't cut them out completely.
Proteins like fish, chicken and eggs provide the amino acids that your body needs to build and repair muscle and produce enzymes and hormones. Eating protein helps to keep you satisfied throughout the day.
Healthy fats, like avocados, nut butters and olive oil, aid metabolism, provide padding for your organs and bones and aid in growth and reproduction.
A well-balanced plate, one with all three macronutrients on it, will keep your blood sugars stable and your energy up throughout the day.


Open the Blinds

 Sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleep-like state of consciousness. Bright light helps shift our brain waves to higher frequencies and triggers the release of brain-happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.


Exercise in the Morning

 The act of exercising in the morning might sound horrendous if you’ve never done it, but besides obvious health reasons, it’ll actually give you more energy throughout the whole day. Try sleeping in your workout clothes to lessen the chances of making excuses in the morning.


Eat The Rainbow: Vitamins and Minerals

Macronutrients are the fuel, micronutrients make the fuel work.
Vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) are both enormously important to keeping you energized.
You see, micronutrients help your body break down those carbs, fats and proteins into useful pieces of energy that your body recognizes. They keep your metabolism kicking, your hormones pumping and your cell production smooth.


Make it a Habit

Fitness isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. By thinking of exercise as just one of many important health habits, working out will become just as automatic as brushing your teeth, says Dixon.


No Gear Needed

Don't have the dough to dish out on a fancy gym membership? Luckily, plenty of recession-proof exercise routines don't involve a gym, equipment, or cash.

These exercises have the added benefit of freeing up your schedule, since you won't have to head off to the gym to get in a sweat.  


Caffeine

In the right doses, caffeine can definitely be the key ingredient between a lack-luster workout and a kick-ass workout.
Research has shown that caffeine improves performance in endurance athletes, power lifters, sprinters, and weight lifters. The recommended dosage varies depending on whether your body is used to caffeine or not, but don't feel guilty about grabbing some ice coffee pre-workout!


Play Fit Brains

Prep your brain for a new day’s workload by spending a few minutes playing Fit Brains brain games. Fit Brains exercises help stimulate and entertain your mind. You can play Fit Brains on any web browser or train on-the-go with our iOS, Android, or Amazon app!


Eat Breakfast

 Take the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” seriously. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes throughout the day. Think of it as fuel for your body, without it, you’ll run out of fumes!


Music

The right music can make or break a workout. There are days that I hit the gym, start moving, the right song comes on and *boom* my energy level is through the roof and my workout intensity goes up a few notches.
Make a playlist or find a radio station that plays the songs that get you pumped up. Turn on music in the car on the way to the gym and sign your heart out. You'll forget your tired. Put on your head phones and turn up the jams, start lifting, forget there is anyone else in the gym and I promise you, your energy level and fitness level will thank you.
Know what makes you tick, get your head right, lace up your kicks and kiss your excuses good-bye.


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