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Tips to Keep You from Overdoing Your Workout
Are you guilty of overdoing your workout? Whether we’re aware of it or not, we sometimes make our workouts harder on our body for no reason. It’s a delicate line to straddle—when does pushing your limits do more harm than good?
Sometimes a harder workout isn’t necessarily a smarter workout. If you’re overexerting yourself, you could run the risk of fatiguing—or even damaging—your muscles. Here are our tips for decreasing workout effort while increasing workout efficiency.
1. Fuel up before your workout.
Would you drive your car on empty? Of course not! And you shouldn’t be working out on empty, either. Going into a workout with an empty stomach can deprive your body of energy that it will need to draw on during difficult sets. This can leave you at a low-energy level during your workout and fatigued afterwards. Avoid this common mistake by fueling up two hours before your workout with healthy carbs like whole grain toast or a smoothie with our Complete mix.
2. Don’t skip the warm up.
You might be eager to get to the main event, but don’t forget the warmup! Warming up prepares the body for exercise by increasing heart rate and circulation, which loosens your joints and increases blood flow to your muscles. Warming up can also be mental; it can pump you up and put you in a good head space for the work to come. Without warming up, you could be prone to muscle strains and overuse injuries. As a rule, try to warm up for at least five to ten minutes, focusing on stretching and light cardio.
3. Switch up your sets.
Make your workouts more exciting and give your body a break by switching up your exercises. The same exercises day after day will eventually cause your progress to plateau. Even worse, repeating the same intense workout each day will prevent certain muscle groups from getting the time they need to recoup and repair. Prevent muscle strain and overtraining by switching up your exercises and placing low-intensity days between high-intensity workouts.
4. Don’t avoid working your sore muscles.
You’re probably familiar with the dull, aching soreness days after a particularly intense workout. But this soreness, known as delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is no reason to limit your workout! DOMS usually means that your muscles are getting stronger by contracting and lengthening, so it’s perfectly safe to work out your sore muscles—just make sure you’re able to distinguish DOMS from a legitimate muscle injury. If you’re uncharacteristically sore or you feel a burning sensation, stop your workout and rest that muscle. If the pain persists, talk to a medical professional to assess the injury and suggest a safer workout routine. Otherwise, you’re good to go—just make sure switch up exercises to give your muscles ample time to repair!
Have any fitness tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!