You’re dedicated to your health and well-being. You make a point of visiting the gym several times a week to ensure you engage in enough strength-training exercise, as well as aerobic exercise to promote your overall health. Did you know there are some simple tricks and tips that can help you make the most of your time at the gym?

  1. Eat before you exercise. Eating some protein and carbohydrates can help your body energize for your workout. Additionally, having adequate protein available can help fuel your body as you need in order to get the most out of exercising. It is also important that you have enough water to drink before and during your workout. Adequate hydration is critical to your body’s optimal performance.
  2. Visit the gym at slower times. If you only have an hour for exercise, you don’t want to waste fifteen minutes hanging around, waiting for the rowing machine or elliptical to become available. If you plan your exercise time when there are fewer people at the gym, you can skip the long waits, as well as the potential distraction of socialization.
  3. Start your gym time with something fun. Whether you love strength-training, running or yoga, opening your exercise time with something that you enjoy doing will get you pumped up for the entire experience. If you’re looking forward to starting your time at the gym, you’re more likely to prioritize your time there instead of hunting for excuses to skip a day.
  4. Practice interval training. You may think that going as hard as you can for as long as you can is the ideal for exercise. In reality, moderate levels of exertion punctuated with brief, intense intervals of exercise is the ideal for burning fat and calories. These exercises can be intense, but you only need to perform them for a minute or two, followed by a short rest and recovery period between intervals.
  5. Work with a personal trainer. Working with a trainer can help you get the most out of your exercise time. If you are nervous about one-on-one engagement with a trainer, consider sharing a trainer with a friend. That way, you can lower your costs and increase your motivation to perform to your best ability at the same time. Your personal trainer can help you (and your exercise buddy) reach your goals and avoid injuries that will slow your path to improved health.
  6. Be sure to stretch. Stretching at the beginning of your exercise is important, as is stretching at the end to maximize the increases in your flexibility. What you may not realize, however, is that you should also be stretching while you exercise. Stretching between training exercises uses those break times productively and helps your tired muscles recover from the exertion.