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8 Tips to Stay on Top of Your New Year's Health and Fitness Goals

As New Years festivities start to simmer down and our schedules fill up, our annual health and fitness goals get put on the back burner. This is normal and can be difficult to avoid. Staying on top of your goals starts by making sure you prepare yourself properly before exercising and fueling your body after you've finished.

Making positive changes to your exercise routine provides the best platform to achieve (and exceed) your health and fitness goals. Here are 8 ways to improve your workouts.

1. Pre-Workout

Studies show that caffeine, when consumed in doses of 3-6mg/kg of body mass, improves exercise performance. Caffeine activates the central nervous system, to improve focus, raise energy levels and reduce tiredness. Perfect for early morning workouts or days when you're more tired than usual. MuscleU has a large collection of pre-workouts with varying levels of caffeine to cater to your needs and tolerance.

If you already consume a large amount of caffeine in your day or prefer night time workouts, MuscleU has non-stim (caffeine free) pre-workouts available.

2. Setting Goals

No matter what type of exercise you're into, setting goals is important to track how you're performing and if you're improving. If you do aerobic exercise, time yourself for each exercise. If you're into weightlifting, track the weight of each exercise. In addition, hitting these goals provides a sense of achievement, which motivates you to keep smashing your personal bests!

3. Stretch

Stretching is important no matter what form of exercise you're into. Stretching loosens and warms up your muscles in preparation for the process known as muscle hypertrophy that comes with exercise. This ultimately reduces risk of injury and will improve your range of motion.

A great way to prepare your muscles is to use a foam roller. Roll out the areas that are sore or are to be used in your exercises.

4. Workout With a Friend

Exercise doesn't have to be a solo venture! Grabbing a friend and doing a workout with them is a great way to stay motivated. It can also help reduce stress if you're not comfortable starting a new workout or stepping foot in a gym for the first time. It's always safer to have a spotter around if you're going for PB's in the weights section too!

5. Improving Form

Improving form is not only a priority for safety and reduced risk of injury, but can be the answer to stagnated improvements in your workouts. Doing some research before you attempt your workouts can improve your form, which results in better activation of your muscles. There's a plethora of great information available online to help you achieve good form in your workouts.

6. Implement Variation in Your Workouts

A common mistake people can make is staying within their comfort zone and not changing their workout routine. There's nothing wrong with trying to improve the exercises you like but it's important to tweak your routine and swap exercises out for others. Your body adapts to the stress it is put through in a workout and if not changed for a long period of time, you may not see continual improvements in all-round performance. In addition, changing up your routine keeps things fresh and reduces the potential burn out people can experience.

Implementing different compound lifts, supersets or more aerobic exercises into your workouts can help improve the response from your muscles. 

7. Fueling Your Body After Exercise

Exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein. Consuming protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. Studies show that anywhere between 20-40 grams of protein will maximise the bodies ability to recover.

MuscleU has protein powder supplements for all personal needs. Ranging from whey protein to vegan protein, check out our range to see which suits you best.

8. Get Your Sleep

One that we all seem to forget, is the importance of sleep. We've been told since we were young, you need to get your 8 hours of sleep. Whilst a cliché, your rest period is when your body is hard at work, allowing your muscles to recover from the damage caused during your workout. Getting enough sleep also provides you with the energy to tackle your next workout and perform at your best.

Key Takeaways

  • It's hard to stay on top of your health and fitness goals. Try and implement some of these tips to see how it affects your workouts.
  • Prepare before your exercises and fuel your body afterwards.
  • Exercising is meant to be a fun experience, change it up and keep it fresh.

References

  1. Guest NS, VanDusseldorp TA, Nelson MT, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021;18(1):1. Published 2021 Jan 2. doi:10.1186/s12970-020-00383-4
  2. Jäger, R., Kerksick, C.M., Campbell, B.I. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 20 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8

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