You have to exercise to be healthy, right? Definitely! We all know that regular physical activity is essential for having a healthy body and mind.
Working out helps us to stay in shape, to reduce stress, to live longer, and to prevent disease. The only problem is, if you are not doing it the right way, then you may be putting your body at risk while you are working so hard to improve it. What is the right way to exercise? What can you do to get the most out of your training, both during your workout and after?
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Take the Risk Out of Your Workout
When you train, do it the right way. You will not only get more out of your workout, but you will also be in great condition for your next training session!
- Warm up. Before you start a workout, any type of workout, warm your body up by doing a lighter version of the exercise. This will help to get your blood flowing and to train your body for the movement ahead. For example, if you are going for a run, then start by walking or slowly jogging. If you are doing strength training, then begin by lifting very light weight. You do not need to stretch, unless you have a muscle that is particularly strained. Ideally, you want your muscles to be taut and warmed up before training, not loose.
- Cool down. Taking the time to cool down is just as important is warming up. You want to allow your heart rate to slow naturally and provide your muscles and joints the space to ease into a more relaxed state. Give your body a few minutes of light gentle exercise after your workout. Again, do the same activity, just slower, lighter, and with less intensity. Finish with a cool down stretch.
- Breathe. It is such a simple thing, yet it is also so powerful for well-being. Breathing properly will help to revitalize and energize your body with oxygen while you exercise.
- Practice good form. While you are training and even when you are not, make sure you have good form. Bad posture can put unnecessary pressure on your spine. Improper form while exercising can quickly lead to a pulled muscle.
- Alternate your workouts. Repetitive motion leads to injury; the same goes for your training. If you keep doing the same exercise each day, then you are not allowing your body to recover – and you are probably going to burn out. Doing thirty minutes on a treadmill day in and day out is not only dangerous, but you are never going to get the results you are after. Go for a run, lift weights, swim laps, join a kickboxing class, play tennis with a friend. Keep working different muscle groups and keep it interesting, fun, and healthy.
- Listen to your body. If your knee is bothering you, then don’t go for a run today. When your back is sore, don’t go to the gym to lift weights. Stretch, rest, and take care of your body. Pain is a signal that something may be wrong. If your body doesn’t feel right, then it is time to rest, and perhaps to switch up your workout routine.
- Don’t push yourself too much. You can condition your body with 30 to 45 minutes of exercise. In fact, beyond that you can impact the release of hormones in your body to the point that you will stop burning fat and start burning muscle fiber!
“TAKE A LOOK AT HOW YOU TRAIN, AND HOW YOU HEAL. ARE YOU EXERCISING THE RIGHT WAY?”
Fitness Does Not End at the Gym
When we exercise, we are challenging our bodies. We force our lungs and heart to work harder. We put pressure on our muscles, bones, and joints. This can make us stronger, healthier, and happier, as long as we balance the strain we put on our bodies with nourishment and care.
Think of exercise as a cycle – you challenge your body and then you heal. This is the key to burning fat, toning muscle, and energizing your body without harming it. How do you heal? Eat well and rest!
Provide it with the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients that it needs to thrive. Eat a diet that is rich in fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Include plenty of healthy proteins and fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, fish, eggs, and lean meats. Stay away from processed foods, sugar, and white flour products. Drink plenty of water.
One of the most powerful ways to nourish your body is to drink bone broth. You can make broth yourself at home using free-range chicken, fresh veggies, and herbs. Why is bone broth so amazing? It not only is packed with minerals that your body can easily absorb, but it also is a rich source of glucosamine, sulphates, and chondroitin – key nutrients for preventing joint pain and inflammation, and gelatin, which will keep your bones strong and healthy.
You need to take days off. You don’t actually build stronger muscles and bones when you are working out – you do that when you are at rest. Give yourself time to recover and renew with training-free days. Use this time to care for your body. Go for a light walk, do a gentle sunrise yoga session, get a therapeutic massage or soak in a warm bath. All of these things help to improve circulation and relax your body, promoting healing and healthy recovery.