Let’s face it: working out is hard. After a brutal day on the job, a simple jog around the block can feel like climbing Everest. If the Superman move makes you feel more like a starfish than a superhero, you may need to up your prep game.
Check out these 5 tips to maximize any activity — and get your covert Clark Kent swagger back:
1. Good tunes get you moving
First things first, get your playlist on point (try a free music streaming app that does the playlist selection for you). You want faster-paced music on your playlist to help you get into the zone.
2. Warm up your muscles
Walk for five minutes and do some arm circles to activate and loosen up your muscles. This gets the blood flowing and brings fluids to your joints. A quick warm up means you’ll reduce your risk for injury.
3. Mix it up
Your body likes to adapt to routine, so keep those muscles guessing by switching up your moves. Try a beginner’s boxing class or run through some bodyweight moves at home. The key is to keep it interesting for your body and mind.
4. Increase your weights
If weight lifting is your thing, using the appropriate weight is key to a great pump and you’ll feel like a million bucks afterwards. A good starting point is 12-15 reps before your muscles fatigue. If you’re finding the weight too light, increase it gradually to hit that sweet spot. Note: Barbells can be dangerous beasts, so if you’re just starting out don’t go too hard too soon or injuries will happen.
5. Don’t overdo it
Adrenaline’s a crazy thing, it can both energize and mislead you. Word to the wise: Avoid intense workouts or weights without at least a few weeks of preparation (ie. gradual walking or jogging before doing an long run). It could save you from serious injury which will only derail your progress.
Pro Tip: If you’re short on time, you should give interval training at try. By alternating high-intensity and lower-intensity movements, you can literally see better results in half the time of standard workouts!
Disclaimer: Remember to consult your physician or other qualified health professional for any changes to your physical activity. Only qualified health providers can provide health care by examining your health history, as well as your current physical, mental and emotional condition, and use their expertise and experience to advise you.
Daniel Palmer is a communications professional and former journalist. Nature and vegan cuisine are usually the cure for what ails him. A native Newfoundlander, Daniel was raised in British Columbia and currently resides in Ottawa.