With the physical, social and mental benefits of regular exercise well documented, and summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to get moving! Whether you’re a couch potato or a fitness fan looking to step things up, don’t sweat it. We’ve rounded up some simple tips to help you get more from your workout without really trying. Because who doesn’t want more bang for their workout buck?
Find a workout buddy
If you’re struggling with solo workouts, or not seeing the results you’d like, try recruiting a friend. Not only is working out in a pair or group more fun, it does wonders for your motivation. Studies show our friends inspire us to work harder during workouts, while group exercisers experience a greater reduction in stress than those pounding the pavement alone. What’s more, it’s much harder to skip your morning spin class when there’s someone else holding you accountable. So, if you want to maximise your workout gains? Partner up or head to a group fitness class.
Give HIIT a go
“I don’t have time” is a common excuse for not exercising, but is it really that honest? With even short stints of physical activity proven to have significant health benefits, you don’t need to set aside an hour, or even 30 minutes, to enjoy results.
An incredibly popular workout method, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is designed to deliver big results in short, power-packed sessions. Often lasting just 10 to 20 minutes, HIIT workouts have you switching between periods of intense activity and rest. Time saving and convenient, HIIT sessions are also said to fire up your metabolism for hours after your workout. Minimal time for maximum burn—what’s not to like?
Focus on nutrition
Whether you’re working out for weight loss or to improve your sporting performance, you’ll achieve better results if you’re fuelling your body correctly. Start with a kitchen audit and ditch the sugary, energy-sapping processed foods. Next, stock up on nutrient-dense wholefoods that will keep you energised and satiated, ensuring you’re consuming enough protein to assist with repair. If you’re particularly athletic and not sure of your requirements, a visit to a sports dietician can be very helpful.
Take an iron supplement
Helping to oxygenate the blood and convert blood sugar to energy, iron is an essential mineral that supports physical and cognitive function. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. And it’s particularly problematic for athletes, pregnant, pre-menopausal women, children and vegetarians.
High intensity exercise and endurance sports can result in significant iron losses, through both sweat and the breakdown of red blood cells. If you’re upping your exercise, you’ll need to eat plenty of iron-rich foods, and may also benefit from an iron supplement. In convenient on-the-go sachets, Spatone® 100% Natural Liquid Iron is an easy way to maintain healthy iron levels and help you perform at your very best naturally.
Find your ‘thing’
We’re not all born runners, some of us hate the gym and others lack the hand-eye coordination required for ball sports… Since the key to reaping workout rewards is consistency, your life will be much rosier if you chose a physical activity you actually enjoy.
Focus on finding your ‘thing’, whether that’s yoga, horse riding, strength training or netball. It will be far easier to stick to a fun fitness regime than a workout you actively dread.
Don’t forget about recovery
It might sound boring, but recovery time is just as crucial for your physical wellbeing as time spent training. Regardless of whether you’re weight training or working towards a marathon, you need to allow your body time to repair. Rather than holding you back from your workout goals, non-training and light training days will in fact improve your progress.
Listen to your body
You know that If you want to become fitter/ faster/ stronger, you need to keep challenging your body. Otherwise your results will plateau, and you risk becoming bored, demotivated or giving up.
However, it’s important to also realise you’re the one that knows your body best. If you’re ever in pain during a workout, or something feels off, stop. By doing so, you’ll potentially avoid an injury that could put you out of the game for weeks, or even months.