Workout Tips and Tricks

Because I’m doing three hours of Zumba twice a week, I often get asked about my workout tips.
I am by no means an expert, but I do have some tips and tricks for working out.
First off, and this is the most important thing, is find something you enjoy. 
See how happy Zumba makes me?  😀
I am motivated to get my butt to the gym because I LOVE my workout.  Do you love the solace of running?  Run.  Do you love the challenge of weight lifting?  Lift.  Do you love swimming?  Swim.  Do you love community?  Take a class.  Find something you enjoy.  If you hate it, you will never go.
Next, eat a small protein filled snack before you go.  I think this is key.  Make room is your daily calories for about a 100-150 calorie pre-workout snack.  I like to make mine protein filled because I have found that protein makes me feel energized.  For you, it might be carbs, but carbs make me feel tired.  Find what works for you.
Some of my pre-workout snacks might be: 
-a light yogurt
-a bowl of oatmeal with a bit of PB added
-string cheese and an orange
-an Atkins bar (these are usually low carb and high protein)
-a couple PB crackers
-when I don’t plan ahead, I keep a jar of PB at work to take a spoonful as I’m out the door for the gym.
Be sure you are hydrated.  I try to get my daily intake of water BEFORE I get to the gym.  That way, as I work, I’m not dehydrating myself.  If I work out in the morning (which some weekends I Zumba on Saturday mornings) I drink a BIG glass of water on my way to the gym and then drink, drink, drink during my workout.  Nothing makes you feel sluggish like being low on water.
Make friends at the gym.  Even if you just go run on the treadmill, smile and talk to those around you.  Make the gym feel more comfortable and friendly.  I LOVE the small talk I engage in at the gym.  Classes make this easy, but even if you just make small talk with people at the water fountain or in the dressing rooms, it will make it more fun to go if you feel like you can be friendly there.
Always stretch.  I find a lot of people telling me they hate to work out because they hurt for days.  That is because they don’t fully cool down and stretch after.  Your muscles have worked hard during a work out.  They have built up lactic acid and if you don’t cause that lactic acid to recycle through your body, the soreness comes.  Even if you take a class, take time to walk a lap around the track or on the treadmill after class to continue cooling down.  Stretch at the gym before you leave, but then also stretch at home before bed.  You have to stretch that soreness out.
Those are a few of my workout tips!  Whatever you do to stay active, get out there and do it! We are about to be lazy bums for a few days over the holiday, so get some activity in now before the turkey coma sets in.  Even if its just a walk or a few push ups and sit ups on your living room floor….do something today that will make your body better.  Not necessarily thinner or smaller, but better.  Aim for the goal of feeling and performing better and the rest will fall into place.
And here is the handy dandy graphic I made while I was bored… 🙂  
Enjoy my Common Sense workout tips!

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