Things not to do after a workout.

  • Forget to hydrate

So many people are dehydrated to some degree most of the time. It is recommended that you drink about 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight each day. You should also take in an extra 500-1000ml for every hour of exercise. It is quite clear that if you lose a lot of liquid through sweating, it needs to be replaced.

 

  • Eating too many calories

Eating a load of empty calories post workout is a really bad idea. Because of the strain that you have put on your body during exercise, it is good to eat something easy-to-digest. Protein, carbohydrates and a small amount of healthy fats are perfect for starting muscle repair and nutrient replacement.

 

  • Not stretching

STRETCH!

Both before and after a workout. I don’t need to say more.

Just do it!

 

  • Doing nothing else for the rest of the day

Don’t think for a second that doing a workout session allows you to spend the rest of the day on the sofa doing nothing. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the odd lazy day; just don’t make a habit of it. Try making movement a part of your day. Use the stairs instead of the lift, get up from your desk for a quick walk every hour.

 

 

 

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Improve your walking.

As little as half an hour of walking per day has been proven to improve mood, reduce stress, increase bone density and more. Turning your daily walks into a workout, however, requires a bit more effort than just going for a gentle stroll.

One of the easiest ways you can increase the calorie burning effect of your walks is by playing with the pace. Add some intervals to your walks to see some serious belly fat burning. 2 minutes of low intensity walking, followed by 2 minutes of high intensity, then 30 seconds of jogging will really get the heart racing. This sort of workout forces the body to constantly adjust, using more energy and blasting that fat in the process.

As well as varying the pace, why not try a new route? Pick one with plenty of variation in altitude and terrain. Walking both up and down hill uses different muscles than walking on the flat, try to include some inclines for the best muscle boosting walks. Similarly, diffent terrains have differing effects on your muscles, add some sand or gravel segments to give that added boost to your regime.

It is quite obvious that the more muscle groups you use while exercising, the more energy expenditure there will be. Therefore, try doing something with your arms while walking. Just adding an active bend to them while they naturally swing will help, or you could carry some small hand weights with you to supercharge the exercise.

Is just walking enough?

In an era where high intensity fitness programs are king, is there a place for just taking a walk?

The answer, thankfully, is simple. Yes.

Walking is a great way to improve fitness and, as long as it creates a calorie deficit, a good way to loose weight. Walking has many upsides compared with more intense form of exercise that it is worth adding to any routine.

One of its greatest benefits is that, compared to most other forms of exercise, it has almost zero negative impact on your body long term. Walking is very easy on your knees.

Walking is also completely free and needs no special equipment. Even the humble jog requires running shoes.

Walking is an easy way to hit your daily exercise targets, and can be used to add some much needed cardio into your day. This is really helpful for those who spend a lot of their exercise time in the gym. Just fitting some runs in throughout the day will provide an extra level of fitness.

In all, walking is a great way to stay in shape. It is certainly not the only way, and it should not be solely relied on if you are looking for strength and muscle tone. Whether integrated into an already established regime, or the start of a new one. Walking is certainly a good place to start.

Fall in love with running.

So many people have told me that they hate running. This is something that is completely at odds with my view of the activity. I love running, though this was not always the case. I have always been good at running, but for a long time it felt like a chore. Like something that I knew would benefit me, but that I did not really feel like doing ever.

5 minutes into a run I would find myself looking at my watch, bored, wondering if I could just give up now there and then. The key to falling in love with running is to defeat this boredom factor.

I first found myself enjoying running when I started to properly challenge myself. I don’t mean setting myself overly difficult goals. Starting out with nice achievable yet challenging goals is a great way to add some interest into your running. Setting a time, maybe as little as 10 minutes, and trying to push to run further each time can be a fun little challenge. This sort of running has the added benefit of making improvement easy to follow.

Using achievable goals makes you feel great when you reach them. Setting goals that are too challenging has the opposite effect and is often what puts off new runners. When starting out, establishing a habit is the key thing. Use these small goals to help you make a habit of running, once you have that, committing to your first big milestone is the next step.

Some people also find that running in a group is a great way to add motivation. Group running has many benefits, the other members will help push you towards your goals and it is great from a social standpoint. I have personally always struggled with group running, I have found the differences in pacing to be difficult to get around. Group exercising of other types however, I have found to be very effective, so I feel that as long as the group members have a similar level of ability there is benefit to be had.

So, if you are someone that thinks they hate running, maybe give it another chance. Pop out with a group of people and set yourself an achievable goal and most importantly don’t give up.

RED January 2019 – In support of the mental health charity Mind.

Following on from completing RED January 2018, I will again be running every day in January 2019 in support of Mind UK. In January 2018 I set and achieved the target of completing 150km of running across the month. Next year I am aiming to hit 200km in support of this worthy cause.

As I mentioned in my post on completing 2018’s edition of RED January, the work Mind and other mental health charities from across the word do is so important. For anyone who has suffered from any mental heath condition, whether diagnosed or not, the support offered by organisations like Mind is priceless. I personally feel it is so important to continue to raise awareness of mental health to help remove the stigma attached to it, and to enable those suffering that it is okay to talk about their problems.

For more information on RED January and to read about the great work done by Mind UK click here: Mind UK – RED JanuaryRED_Jan2019_TFrontRED_Jan2019_TRev.

To make a donation to Mind, and sponsor me while I hit the pavement in January 2019 clike here: Just Giving – RED January