Image by: Mando Barista
By John Cace
If you’re like me then you know how hard it can be to maintain a consistent workout schedule. I often get off track because I have a lack of will power to motivate me to get off my butt. And then randomly I will get a good night sleep or suddenly an urge overcomes me and Pam! I’m working out! Maybe it’s an early morning jog
Unfortunately that is not any kind of way to harbor a quality workout routine. Even if it’s once a week, you have to stick with it.
So most people probably don’t think about stretching as “tip” material. Those who do though, know how important this little step truly is. To understand why it should be on your agenda we have to realize what it is you are really doing.
Think of your muscles as sponges. Before stretching them they are dried out and need some lubrication. Your body has that special sauce to grease those gears and you need to be using it. Without the proper warming up you are basically starting any workout at full throttle. It would be like running as fast as you can at the beginning of a race. Just think of how quickly you would get tired and how much pain your body would be in.
Now of course there is always the possibility of over stretching and hurting your muscles before you even get one sit up in. Don’t do that. How? Know your limit. Stretch slowly, deliberately, and make it count. It’s supposed to hurt a little, but if you notice the pain goes away almost instantly when you stop stretching. So don’t worry when you feel that initial burn.
Instead get to that point and hold it for at least ten seconds. Take a break for ten and then do it again. It should feel good and be a little easier the second go around. Properly stretching will greatly reduce your risk for injury, as well as give your muscles the longevity the both of you need when working out. And don’t forget to stretch again after your workout.
#2) Time of Day
When is the best time of the day to workout? Whenever you are actually working out is the right answer. The reason is because everyone is different.
You just have to know when the best time is for you based on a few factors that will help you get the most from all of your hard work.
Ask yourself, “When do I have the most time?” After work? Only Tuesday and Saturday afternoons? When you have at least an hour an half you can reserve, even one hour, then you stick to that time and act like it is a second, third, or fourth job. Your body is your office of employees. Dedicated, hungry, and waiting for your leadership.
So whip those kids into shape. It only takes a few times of sticking to a routine before you program your body for certain activities. We do it, thanks to our brains, all the time.
#3) Energy Level
Another question you should ask yourself is, “When do I have the most energy?” This is important because otherwise if you are physically drained or mentally taxed, then your workout will suffer. So you are going to have to work on lining up your free time with your energy time.
Working out on a lean mixture is never a good idea. It will zap what little energy you do have much quicker and leave you with aggravation and possible even injury if you get frustrated enough. You are only cheating yourself if you try and half-ass it through your routine.
No cheating. At least not in the beginning people.
If you are truly serious about improving your health then this might be the most important thing you need to consider. As you come to find your groove with exercises, stretches, and times you are going to constantly face temptations, challenges, and distractions. It is crucial that you are vigilant in overcoming them. At least in the initial stages of your transformation.
If something hurts, stop doing it. If you feel sick, don’t make it worse. But if you are dragging your butt because a workout is hard, then that is no excuse. You can always do it a little until you can do it a lot. Getting past the baby steps the right way will lead to solid habits that you are more likely to adhere to because you have trained yourself to follow them.
I hope these tips help to motivate those of you looking to step up to the challenge of reshaping your body. Do you have some solid pointers for creating good habits when starting out a new plan? Please share your own tips and stories of failure and success with us all!