In Partnership with G-SHOCK
First things first: a quality fitness routine can literally save your life. After all, being healthier usually means living longer (barring unforeseen circumstances like a piano falling on your head). However, even if you’re not worried about extending your lifespan, there are plenty of other good reasons to hit the gym on a regular basis. If nothing else, you’ll look better, feel better, work better and sleep better. And who doesn’t want that?
Of course, not all bodies and minds are created the same, meaning some routines will benefit you more than others. Accordingly, you should find a regimen that suits your physicality, your lifestyle and your schedule. Meanwhile, there are some general things you can do to optimise your regimen, regardless of personal metrics. Pair each one with your customised routine and you’ll achieve maximum fitness potential. Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of every workout.
Create a Routine and Stick With It
In life and in fitness, consistency is key. For instance, sleep experts recommend going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning. Along similar lines, you should create a stable and predictable fitness routine, and stick with that routine for as long as you possibly can. In other words, you should already know what exercises you’ll be doing, and when you’ll be doing them, before you even get out of bed in the morning. Does it sound boring? Perhaps. But your body and mind will appreciate it, and you’ll stay on task as a result. Before long, your regimen will become so normal that you’ll be doing it out of habit, and maybe even looking forward to it. In summary: establish a firm workout routine that accommodates your lifestyle for now and years to come. Save the surprises for other aspects of your life.
Don’t Give Up
When it comes to adopting a new regimen, the first days, weeks and months are always the hardest. For that reason, it’s important you make a plan and force yourself to commit. If nothing else, keep a little voice in your head that chants the words “don’t give up” over and over again. The voice only needs to stick around for the first few months. After that, you might find yourself wondering why it was such a struggle to maintain a fitness routine in the first place.
Odds are you’ve heard of fitness trackers. Our current favourite is the G-SHOCK GBA800, which is a sturdy watch and accurate fitness tracker rolled into one. With this handy device at your disposal, it’s never been easier to set goals and hit targets. Whether that means reaching a certain amount of steps each day or burning a certain amount of calories per workout, the gadget and its adjoining app will help you get it done. It also features five different intensity levels, allowing you to adjust accordingly. Plus, the watch is virtually indestructible, making it all the more useful among fitness freaks and thrill-seekers alike.
Incorporate Both Weightlifting and Cardio
Your body isn’t running on all cylinders if you’re focusing exclusively on one kind of workout over another. In other words: diversify. That means optimising every muscle in your body by way of a routine that includes both weightlifting and cardio. As a result, you’ll be boosting your metabolism, reducing abdominal fat, staying fit and staying strong. While on the subject, you shouldn’t be afraid to mix up the cardio in order to keep things interesting. When we said maintaining a set routine is fundamental to success, we were speaking in broad strokes, meaning you should be working out on a fixed, regular basis. The specifics of your workout can vary if need be.
Keep Track of Your Progress
If you’re using a fitness tracker like the G-SHOCK GBA800, you can do far more than just set goals. In fact, the adjoining app allows you to view previous achievements (steps reached, calories burned, etc), and store stopwatch measurement data. By tracking hard data, you’ll be able to see just how far you’re coming along, and just how quickly. If nothing else, it will reaffirm the notion that you’re getting stronger, faster, and healthier, which will consequently provide the positivity boost you might need to keep going. Fitness is about routine, but it’s also about results. With hard data, those results are staring you right in the face.
Also, don’t be afraid to start small. In the gym, that means lifting smaller weights until you’re ready for the bigger ones. It also means running two miles before you run five. Small steps get you off on the right foot, paving the way for substantial long-term progress. Again, a fitness tracker like the G-SHOCK GBA800 can help. Not only can you use it to see how many calories you’re burning, but you can store previous stopwatch times, thereby tracking how long it takes you to run a certain distance per session. By staying on top of these metrics, you’ll be pushing yourself forward, and noticing improvements along the way.
Last but not least, your workout might not go down in the gym. Maybe you’re a rock climber. Maybe you’re into biking. Maybe you train for 5K marathons. Whatever floats your boat, the G-SHOCK will do you just right. It’s built to last and overflowing with usefulness. Give it your worst, time and again, without having to worry that it will break down.
While a pattern-based workout routine is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle, it will prove far less effective if you’re not living right. That means eating right, sleeping right, avoiding excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol, and remaining active even when you’re not at the gym. Stay away from processed sugars. Limit your caffeine intake. Don’t get less than 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Don’t watch too much TV. Don’t overuse your smart devices. If you work a desk job, remember to get up and stretch every now and then. These are the kinds of things that will keep your mind and body nimble even when you’re not working out. You should also enjoy a protein/carb shake both before and after your workout, and a small meal 60-90 minutes after the workout.
Drink Lots of Water
For the time being, water is plentiful and usually within reach. Take advantage of this abundant resource by drinking it as frequently as you can. To put it another way: stay hydrated. In doing so, you’ll avoid the negative repercussions of dehydration, which can be exacerbated by an intense workout. Most experts recommend drinking at least 64oz a day, and if you’re working out on a regular basis, that amount should be considered the bare minimum. If possible, try to drink half an ounce to a full ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. Also, don’t just chug a bunch of water before rolling into the gym, because your body might not process all of it by the time your workout starts. Instead, drink water steadily throughout the day, and make sure you’re fully hydrated at all times.
Practice Good Form
If you’re not using proper form while working out, you’re potentially doing more harm than good. Since the last thing you want to experience is a fitness-related injury, make sure you’re doing those squats the right way. If you’re not exactly sure what the right form entails, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also, you should be wearing the right sneakers when you hit the treadmill–anything short of that can lead to knee and back injuries.
Exercise in Circuits
It’s as ineffective to take too much downtime between exercises as it is to overwork a muscle by not letting it rest. To compensate, work one group of muscles at a time, and then move on to the next exercise. This is called circuit training, and it kills two birds with one stone by allowing the muscles to rest, and simultaneously keeping your body in motion. That’s not to say you can’t take short breaks between exercises, rather that you shouldn’t fully rest until the workout is completed. In fact, the majority of experts say that the most effective workout routine involves high-intensity intervals (where you’re really pushing yourself) interspersed with brief, low-intensity breaks. The best part? High-intensity circuit training shouldn’t last for more than 30-40 minutes, leaving you plenty of time in your day.
Because circuit training involves intense physical exertion and a tight grip on both numbers and increments, allow us to once again recommend the G-SHOCK GBA800. It’s durable, accurate, and brimming with utility. Use it for timekeeping, data storage, and a bevy of other functions, and expect it to hold up no matter how strenuous the activity. That makes it much more resilient than your average fitness tracker, and a bona fide workout essential.