By Markita Lewis, MS, RD
Having a regular exercise routine combined with healthy eating is essential to maintaining a high level of fitness. Instead of stumbling unprepared into a workout, making an exercise plan can make your fitness journey go smoothly. Here are our best tips on how to set yourself up for success with your workouts and fitness.
Find a Workout You Like
When you think about working out, going to the gym may be the first thing that pops into your mind. For some, the gym is a fun place to work out, but for others, it is a nightmare.
If you’re not a person who likes a traditional workout at the gym, take your activity outside, play a recreational sport or join a class. If one workout doesn’t match with your personal needs, don’t give up — try something different! Whether you enjoy dance, soccer, aerial yoga or hiking, there are many great ways to get into shape.
Hold Yourself Accountable For Workouts
If you have an off day or miss a day of exercise, it is easy to slip into a pattern of excuses and skipped workouts. To prevent yourself from losing the gains you’ve made from working out, find someone to be your exercise accountability partner to keep you motivated. This may take the form of a personal trainer, a friend or a workout buddy at the gym, or a group fitness class. Having someone to encourage you can make exercise feel less like a chore and more like a social experience.
Know Your Limits and Goals
Fitness is not something achieved overnight, so it’s wise to set realistic expectations about your current fitness level and where you want to go from there. A convenient way to guide your fitness journey and workouts is by using SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. When you consider each of these SMART components, you can guide your workouts towards your specific goal and measure your progress in a systematic way.
When starting a new workout, it is important to start at a manageable level of activity, then gradually increase intensity over time. Starting a workout at high intensity or overtraining increases risk for injury and other complications.
Prioritize Exercise Recovery
Adding hemp-derived products, like Zebra CBD balm or CBD Rub, may be helpful for post-workout recovery. Mild to moderate exercise-induced inflammation is common after starting a new workout, adding extra exercise to your regimen or increasing the intensity of your workout. The muscle soreness you feel is from inflammation; it’s a sign that your muscle fibers are repairing themselves and becoming larger and stronger to keep up with your more challenging workout level.
Hemp and CBD oils contain natural compounds that may ease soreness due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Use of these oils combined with proper post-workout cooldown and recovery time can help reduce muscle aches and keep you active.