As we amp up our workout game for summer, we need to make sure our bodies are on top form. This means taking rest days, eating the right food and maximising muscle recovery. Here are some things you can do to keep you on track during 'project summer body season'...
Scheduling your workouts for the week means you’re more likely to fit in the workout you need without letting life get in the way. Sit down on Sunday and decide what type of workout you’re going to do, on what days and then book them in.So in order to get the best possible results we want to be doing a mixture of high intensity, low intensity, muscle strength work and stretching. If we did five days of high intensity workouts in a row for months on end, our bodies are going to end up giving us little hints and signs to slow down, normally in the form of exhaustion and injuries; the last we need before summer!
So, a rough guide would be:
Monday- muscle strength (eg. Barre)
Tuesday- high intensity / muscle strength (eg. Power Beans)
Wednesday- high intensity (eg. Bean Box)
Thursday- rest day / stretch (eg. Chilled coastal walk with a stretch)
Friday- muscle strength (eg. Barre)
Saturday- high intensity (eg. Boot Camp)
Sunday- rest / stretch / low intensity (eg. A chilled yoga class or gentle walk)
Don't diet, eat real food
The food we fuel our bodies with is what’s going to make up 80% of our results. No matter how many burpees we do, if we’re still eating the wrong foods our bodies aren’t going to change.
It’s best to eat after your workout so our stomach isn’t trying to digest food. When we eat a big meal, our stomach needs blood to help it digest; just like our muscles need it when we workout. If you start working out after a big meal, our tummies will stop digesting. This will often make you feel sick, especially when those burpees come around!
In order to get the best results, eat 30 - 45 minutes after your workout to get the most out of the meal. After the workout is when your body needs those nutrients to start recovery. Eat PROTEINS to give your muscles the amino acids needed to repair. COMPLEX CARBS to build up glycogen used as energy during a workout. VEGETABLES to get your vitamins, minerals and fibre in §and HEALTHY FATS to nourish the body.
A good breakfast or dinner after a workout could be:
3/4 cups cooked quinoa
1 small roasted sweet potato
1 or 2 boiled eggs
Smoked salmon or a small avocado
a big handful of spinach
3/4 stems of asparagus
Lemon or apple cider vinegar with olive oil to dress
(All these ingredients can be cooked and prepped the night before and made into a quick, cold brekkie bowl!)
Water is also a crucial part of your day when exercising. Make sure you drink at leat a glass or two 10 minutes before your workout, then lots afterwards! You should be drinking at least two litres of water a day, more on days you’re exercising intensely. Feeling hungry, tired and getting headaches are all signs of mild dehydration, so fill up your cup!
Listen to your body
Our bodies are clever, there’s no doubt about that. If you have a busy, stressful week, your body will let you know! Listen to the signs and adjust your workouts accordingly. Some weeks you’ll smash out five workouts and feel unstoppable while doing them, some weeks you wont. Don’t feel guilty or disheartened. Exercise is all about being consistent over a long period of time. That week you worked out seven days with no rests just to ‘shred’ before Bali isn’t going to make a difference. Consistent workouts over long periods of time are going to get the results, plus be better for your body and state of mind.
Stretching and Foam Rolling
Yes, I heard that groan. The bit everyone hates, but probably the most crucial part of your exercise routine. Stretching and foam rolling keeps your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. It reduces soreness and tightness, increases flexibility, helps prevent injury and is a good way to de-stress. So, dust off that foam roller and set aside a few minutes a day to roll out and stretch those tired muscles, your future self will thank you!
When you get rolling, spend about 60 seconds on each tight area. Use as much or as little pressure as feels comfortable for you. If you find a knot or sensitive spot, linger on it for a little while, rolling back and forth until the tenderness eases. Ten to 15 minutes a day is all it takes, and you can even do it in front of the tv, Winning!
Obviously, everyone is different. Listen to your body, find what works for you. Enjoy your workouts and embrace the rest days! Fuel your body with nourishing food, drink plenty of water and the results will come naturally.
Over n' out & good luck to all you challengers. Love, Carragh x
(Ps. come & play with me?!)