You hit the gym regularly, have a PR when it comes to running, or maybe you’re considering taking your yoga practice to the next level with yoga teacher training. However, every other aspect of your life is impacting your workouts, for better or worse. If you really want to make the most of every minute you spend working out your body, you should also consider “supplements” (and this doesn’t just mean vitamins). Otherwise, you might be wasting precious moments on that elliptical or at the barre.
Here are some of the best ways to optimize your workouts and enjoy better results. Who knew getting more out of that lifting session was so easy?
1. Focus on ergonomics
Chiropractors preach the importance of ergonomics for a good reason. If you spend 30 minutes focusing on back exercises but then slump over your poorly designed office work station, you’re undoing part of all that hard work. Ergonomics encompasses both proper posture as well as proper setups when sitting and sleeping.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated according to Rodale News, and that could be your undoing. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day, so someone who weighs 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water each day. Sip during your workouts, and if you feel hungry have a glass of water first. It’s easy to confuse thirst cues with hunger cues.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep is the easiest, cheapest and most enjoyable means of improving your health. Practice good sleep hygiene as recommended by the Sleep Foundation and if you have a sleep disorder, get it addressed immediately. Everyone requires different hours of sleep per night, and eight is just the average. You may need more or less.
4. Consider fasted workouts
There’s some controversy surrounding this, but there’s evidence that fasted workouts (both cardio and strength) have benefits. This might especially suit people who aren’t hungry in the mornings and can swing morning workouts.
5. Take your supplements
From adding BCAAs to your workout water to making sure to take the Vitamin D and fish oil, it’s nearly impossible to get all your nutrients from whole foods alone. Most people are deficient in some capacity, so get your vitamin levels checked and take action.
There’s only so much your workout alone can provide. Give it the boost it needs, then sit back and watch the results flourish.