Drink water and hydrate! I’m not the first or last person to tell you to drink lots of water – 64 ounces minimum per day. However, you’d be surprised by the number of people who drink 64 ounces of liquid per day and think they’re hydrated when, in actuality, they’re dehydrated. Coffee, soda and beer are all beverages, but none of them gives you the hydration you need throughout the day. They don’t help you pass toxins out of your system and they certainly don’t hydrate your muscles, tissue and joints. Sports beverages may sound like a great idea, especially if you watch their commercials, but most of us truly don’t work up enough of a sweat to actually need 32 ounces of “Whateverade.” So go ahead, drink your water. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime or orange to it if you want some flavor. Do yourself and your body a favor and drink up…water, that is.
Stretch! Have you noticed a pattern yet? You work out, you feel great, but a day or two later your muscles are sore and you feel cranky. Everyone tells you to stretch, of course, but where do you begin? Taking 10 – 15 minutes before and after a workout to stretch the major and minor muscle groups may seem like a lot of extra time to add, but the benefits to your body far outweigh any inconvenience to your day. You’ll see increased flexibility and less soreness right away. Stretching also provides long-term benefits to muscles and joints and helps relieve back, neck and leg pain. I always encourage my clients to stretch before, during and after their workout.
Sweat! You know you feel better when you work up a sweat. Ever wonder why? Sweat helps your body release toxins in many ways. Your pores open up to release dirt and oils from your skin, but sweating goes further than that. It can help rid your body of sodium, cholesterol, alcohol and other hard to digest substances. It can also help prevent colds, flus and other airborne illnesses. Sweat contains a natural anti-microbial which fights germs and other pathogens. Sweating also helps loosen up muscles and soothe aches and pains. Make a plan to work up a sweat at least 4 times a week. I’ll bet you’ll feel great inside and out.
Note: Some new clients come to me and say they don’t sweat. That ain’t good. They are either not drinking enough water (see above) or just not working hard enough.
Lift! Weights, that is. You know I’m passionate about weight lifting and all of the benefits that go along with it. Many of you know me as champion bodybuilder, Mr. America, and you know I practice what I preach. I’m in the gym 5 days a week with my clients as well as for my personal workout. I train my clients in a similar way to my own training – by focusing on certain core muscle groups for each workout. I’m not a fan of trying to work all muscle groups in one workout. You can’t focus properly on each targeted group if you try to work them all. Plan your workouts by week – you can alternate upper body and lower body workouts and give yourself, and your muscles at least one day of rest per every two days of workout.