Many people think that just working out is enough to get results. That’s somewhat true… You can definitely get results from just working out, but there is a lot more to fitness than just working out. There are things that you need to do outside and inside of the gym in order to maximize your results and remain healthy.
Outside the gym, make sure you are eating correctly, hydrating, and resting–
Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle or both, you’ll eventually hit a plateau if you don’t keep your diet in check. If you fill your body with junk, you’re gonna feel like a piece of junk. Instead, make most of your diet consist of healthy, nutrient dense foods. (Good carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.)
Giving your body the proper nutrients allows it to burn fat or put on muscle at a faster rate than it would have if you ate unhealthily. By eating healthier, you are getting all the necessary nutrients to fuel your body for the next workout. You’ll be able to exercise even harder since you have all the necessary nutrients. Eating healthier also helps you recover from your prior workout(s).
Another thing you should be doing outside the gym is drinking more water. Being dehydrated can cause tiredness and it can cause your muscles to tense up. This is especially bad when you are exercising. How can you possibly work out if your muscles are constantly cramping? The solution is easy. Just drink more water!
One more thing you should be doing is getting the proper amount of rest. There is no way your body can recover properly after a workout if you don’t get an adequate amount of rest. Not only does this interfere with everyday life, it also interferes with your fitness results. (weight-loss, muscle gain) Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep per night so your body can recover and get ready for its workout the next day.
Inside the gym, you should be warming up, cooling down, and then stretching–
Before a workout, you should start warming up to increase blood flow and loosen up your joints. This will greatly reduce your risk for injury, which can greatly interfere with fitness results.
After your workout, you should do a cool down activity (slow walk or jog depending on the intensity of the workout). Just outright stopping after intense activity can cause dizziness and even fainting. Cooling down allows your heart rate to gradually return to its normal rate, which relieves any undue stress to the heart.
One last thing you can do is stretch after your workout. Stretching afterwards helps prevent injury by increasing flexibility and the range of motion of your joints. It also allows blood to flow to your muscles easier, which allows nutrients to flow to the muscles.