Unless you are an athlete, it’s not always easy to prioritize fitness. We wake up, we go to work, we come home, and we work on our goals. If your health isn’t a top focus, it may be put on the back burner. Health should be a high priority, now and in your future. Money and success are wonderful things to strive for, but nothing tops your health.
A study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise showed that people who were healthiest in their young adult years were also healthiest over time. Millennial women, now is the time to set the right foundation for your future state of health. The CGS Team is sharing 5 fitness habits that you should strive to establish as soon as possible. Maybe you don’t hit the gym every day, but certain habits can ensure you are being as healthy as your situation allows.
Habit #1: Don’t forget the weights.
Cardio is wonderful for your body and lungs, but strength training with weights can do things cardio can’t. Most women assume that lifting weights will make them bulky, or build too much muscle. It would take a lot of time and a lot of work to do that! In fact, lifting weights has a bevy of benefits that don’t mean you will be ready for a fitness competition.
Studies have proven that strength training increases your overall health. It helps build lean muscle mass (which means you burn more calories when you aren’t in the gym). It helps boost your metabolism, ease back pain, enhance your sleep, and ward off diabetes. Incorporating some form of weight lifting and/or circuit training into your workout regimen is a habit you don’t want to overlook. Check out Women’s Health Magazine’s Quick Strength Training Guide for Women.
Habit #2: Always remember to stretch before and after your workout.
Even if it’s as little as 3-5 minutes pre and post workout, stretching has amazing effects on your muscles. Stretching before your workout gives your muscles a chance to loosen up. Jumping right into your workout with tight muscles leaves you more prone to injury. Stretching before your workout ensures you have more impact with your routine.
Stretching after your workout also has its benefits. After you just lifted those weights, or ran a few miles, your muscles are pumped and worked up. Stretching after your workout allows your muscles to “cool down”. This results in less pain the next day, and a quicker recovery time for your next work out. If you aren’t sure which stretches to do, check out this blog share 5 Stretches to Help Maximize Your Workout.
Habit #3: Listen to Your Body
Whether you are crushing your workout, or eating at a five-star restaurant, listen to your body. If your body is telling you “I’m full”, don’t continue to eat. Your body could also be telling you when something is wrong. Is a muscle extremely tight? Before working that muscle and potentially making it worse, let it heal.
Practicing mindfulness and the ability to listen and respond to what your body is telling you is a great habit to form as soon as possible. As you get more acquainted with your body, you can give it what it needs. This practice can also help you learn to control your portions, and lose more belly fat!
Habit #4: Drink more water
If you are consistently working out, experts recommend drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces. This means if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be drinking 60 ounces of water every day. 60 ounces of water every day translates into about 8 eight ounce glasses. Even if you aren’t consistently working out, water does wonders for your body.
Water helps flush out toxins, clears your skin, hydrates your hair, and much more. Drinking as much water as possible is a habit everyone needs to form as soon as they possibly can. Not a fan of water? Try water flavors like Dasani Water Drops. They add a sweet splash to your water, without all of the extra sugar and calories! Learn more about the benefits of water by reading 8 Reasons to Drink More Water.
Habit #5: Re-Fuel properly after each workout
Did you know the best time to eat carbs is right after a workout? We aren’t talking about a slice of cake, but whole wheat toast with avocado, or a glass of low-fat chocolate milk. 30 minutes after your workout, your muscles are craving carbs and protein. The carbs help give you energy for the rest of the day, and the protein helps rebuild muscle.
If you work out at the beginning of the day, make sure to incorporate carbs and protein directly after your workout. Not only will you feel energized to take on the day, you will be listening to your body and feeding it what it needs!
Like we mentioned earlier, you don’t need to work out every day to be healthy. When you do work out though, certain habits will help maximize your results long after the actual exercise. Are there any fitness habits you don’t go without? What fitness tips can you share with newbies? Post a comment below to share your thoughts and tips!