When it comes to weight loss and leading a healthy lifestyle, exercise is key. Not only does it help to burn through the calories we consume, it also gives our metabolism a boost, not to mention the muscle toning and mental benefits of spending some time in the gym/park/pool.
Starting a weight loss program or plan is usually fuelled by a burst of motivation. Making a decision to change your life/body can be a very inspiring thing and that determination and excitement can push you through the first few weeks of new eating patterns and exercise plans.
When that initial first flush starts to fade away however, you may realise that in your enthusiasm, you’ve leaped right into things, without a huge amount of forward thinking or research. We all know that warming up before you exercise is important but what about the importance of the food you eat in the meal directly before you start working up a sweat?
By learning the most effective way to train your body, you are able to ensure that you’re getting the absolute best out of your workout. As busy mums, time is a very precious commodity, making it double important to get the absolute most out of the time you spend exercising.
Try incorporating these simple strategies to get the most out of your workout.
- What you eat is important – Making sure to include complex carbs in your breakfast and lunch means that you’re muscles will be working at their most efficient. Carbs are the fuel your muscles need to perform, so ensuring they have a good supply is important.
- Find your fat burning zone – The ‘fat burning zone’ refers to the ideal heart rate you need to achieve to start burning body fat. You can work this out by subtracting your age from 220, then multiplying that number by 70%. You can keep track of your heart rate using a heart rate monitor. If that’s all a bit too tricky, just try and work on reaching a pace where talking is difficult but not impossible. This usually indicates that you’ve reached a sufficiently high heart rate.
- Stay hydrated – Drinking water regularly both before and during your workout is important. Ever felt cramps in your arms, legs or torso after starting to exercise? Chances are you’re slightly dehydrated. Sip H2O to replenish your levels and avoid cramping.
- Choose your time – While it is thought that exercising in the afternoon is slightly more effective than in the morning, what matters most is picking a time and trying your best to stick with it. Making a regular habit of exercise means you’re more likely to do it and achieve results.
- Fuel up afterwards – If you’ve exercised at a moderate pace and worked up a sweat, your hydration levels will be depleted. By replacing what you’ve lost quickly, you can usually avoid the dreaded next day ache. A banana is the ideal post exercise snack due to its high levels of potassium. Try throwing one in the freezer before you go out for a tasty, icy treat.