Maximize Your Workout

Maximize Your WorkoutThere is working out and then there is working out wisely.

According to experts, making the most of your exercise time indicates fitness favours the focused mind and the prepared body.

Kerri O’Brien, Director of the educational and training arm of Life Fitness, the fitness equipment manufacturer says your internal environment should be ready when working out.

Thinking that you just have to get from point A to point B and get it over with, is not maximising, as the focus is not on whether the core is being tightened or the muscles worked.

As well, O’Brien recommends ensuring eating a small carbohydrate snack 45 minutes before exercising, even if weight loss is the goal.

According to her calories in, calories out is a great fundamental equation to work with, and as any one familiar with the old adage knows fat burns in a carbohydrate flame. Beginning a workout when the body is in starvation mode, will only serve to make it hold back, suggesting something higher in protein, post workout.

O’Brien says muscle fibres are being actually broken down whilst working, which is a good thing as the body repairs the muscles so that they become stronger, and repairing requires protein.

She also recommends drinking a lot of water during a workout, as core temperature is very important, since you need to keep your organs cool while working out.

Fabio Comana, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise says, most people live their lives partially dehydrated.

Comana advises drinking seven to 10 ounces of water every 15 minutes during a workout and if it exceeds one hour, switching to a sports drink containing electrolytes is recommended.

Comana also stresses the importance of warm-up exercises, preparing the entire body for upcoming activity. He suggests 5 to 10 minutes of walking or biking plus stretches should suffice for most people, though older adult, with less elasticity may require 10 to 15 minutes.

He finds people working out to music, work harder to match the faster tempo, pushing themselves and getting the work done.

He also suggests it is important to find one’s ideal intensity level, such as, a talk test i. e look at the difficulty of carrying on a conversation whilst exercising.

The basic premise is that one has to balance calories consumed with calories burned to maintain a healthy weight, but they have to be chosen wisely to fuel the body before, during, and after a workout.

* Prime your workout with healthy pre-workout carbohydrates like a piece of fruit, sports drink, energy or granola bars, oatmeal or whole grain toast.
* Stay hydrated during your workouts.
* Recover with post-workout protein after a workout for muscle repair and recovery, such as, a combination of protein and carbohydrates like yogurt or protein fruit smoothie, fibre cereal and milk, hard boiled eggs or egg whites with a piece of toast, peanut butter on bread, trail mix with nuts or cottage cheese.