The Best Energy Boosters for Your Next Workout
If it’s a workout you want, then you need to be prepared before you lunge head-first into a daily exercise routine.
In order to get the proper energy you need for a workout, it’s about more than what you eat or drink. Healthy energy comes from adequate, restful sleep, it comes from a healthy mind-set, and it comes from avoiding those nasty habits that can wring the motivation right out of you.
With years of nutritional knowledge under her belt, bistroMD’s founding physician reveals the best ways to get the energy you need to prepare for your weekly workouts, and reveals how maintaining this energy level isn’t as hard as you might think.
Take Time to Unwind
“When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, some people become really tense because they see diet and exercise as both daunting and difficult,” says Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., a board certified bariatric physician, and family practice physician.
“It’s always important to be in the right frame of mind when it comes to diet and exercise. Mental relaxation techniques, and taking the time to get an adequate amount of sleep can be helpful.”
Other than doing vigorous and high-stamina cardio every day of the week, take time to unwind by doing a couple of hours of yoga or Pilates every day. These exercises give you a good workout, help you burn calories, and also help your mind relax by taking a breather from the stress of losing weight.
When your mind is content, your body will get a better night’s sleep, which will give you the energy boost you need to get through your next workout. Just make sure you get between 6-8 hours of restful sleep each night.
Make Your Goals Reasonable
“Don’t jump on a treadmill and expect to lose 12 inches on your first run,” says Dr. Cederquist. “Instead, take the time to plan out a reasonable exercise routine that coincides effectively with your diet.”
Most people aim high before they shoot low, which can put a giant roadblock in their motivation. When people don’t achieve these unrealistic goals, they become discouraged, which can cause them to lose sight of their initial motivation.
If you are just beginning to diet, start out exercising 20 minutes each day, with some light cardio exercises. This can be walking on a treadmill, or taking a stroll around your neighborhood.
As the weeks progress, increase your workout time by ten minutes each day.
With this type of workout schedule, you will achieve better results because your body is taking the necessary time it needs to readjust to new changes in diet and physical activity.
You also won’t overexert yourself, which will help you maintain the energy levels you need to continue your workout through the rest of the week.
Kick Nasty Habits to the Curb
Smoking, drinking, too much snacking, eating too many sweets, and overeating can make your energy levels wither away.
“Smoking not only fills our body with toxins, but nicotine releases dopamine into the brain, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness and satisfaction,” says Dr. Cederquist.
“Exercise also releases dopamine into the brain, but if we smoke, our motivation to exercise may decrease because the nicotine has already made us content.”
Drinking, unhealthy snacking, sweet treats, and overeating also decrease our energy levels because our bodies are consuming empty calories, which turns us into couch potatoes.
If you are a smoker, quit immediately, and save the alcohol consumption for the weekends, or for a special occasion. If you are going to snack, make sure the snack is high in protein, and try to avoid all things packed full of sugar and artificial flavors.
Kick these nasty habits, and you will definitely feel the difference the next time you get ready to go to the gym.