- Don't let yourself get fatigued. Every couple of weeks, schedule a "down" week into your workout routine, which means you can work out, but take it a bit easier. Let your muscles rest and rejuvenate before hitting your workout hard again. This should be a monthly part of your workout. You may even need to skip days here and there depending on how you feel.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make workouts painful and cause a host of physical problems. A good rule of thumb to follow is to drink a liter of water per every 1000 calories lost during a workout. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes help keep you hydrated during an extended workout that lasts more than an hour.
- Eat right before you hit the gym. Plan your workouts for at least two hours after you eat, and your pre-workout meal should consist of lean protein and complex carbs.
- Get plenty of rest. Aim for 8 hours per night, trying to set a routine bedtime.
- Always stretch! Never avoid stretching after an intense workout to make recovery less painful.
- Get a rubdown. Scheduling a massage for your post-workout period is a great way for your muscles to come down from an exercise high, and can relieve any muscle pain or tension.
- Take things one day at a time. Your body knows how often it needs to rest and which days it can handle a hard workout. Tune in to your body and do what it tells you to do. Above all, don't overstress yourself by planning intense workouts for the same body parts two days in a row, or not giving yourself enough recovery time in between workouts.
To learn more about how to workout properly, how to recover and how to plan the perfect workout, catch up with Ralph Roberts. Ralph is a personal trainer in Amarillo at the Downtown Athletic Club that can help you customize the best workout for you in order to maximize results.