What to bring: 16 fl.oz. (1/2 liter) of water, a small towel for wiping sweat and an MP3 player if you get bored easily.
Your body loses water every time you sweat. To keep yourself refreshed and to avoid dehydration, you need to keep sipping fluids, in small amounts, as you exercise. Your bottle should be empty by the end of your workout.
How to start. Start your every workout with 15-20 minutes of warming up. The best way to do that is using a treadmill, elliptical trainer, training bike, stair climber or a jump rope. At the end of the warm up, your body should feel warm and starting to sweat. This is how you get into the calorie-burning mode. Calories start burning only after 20 minutes of any workout. When muscles are warm, they get more flexible and prepared for hard work. It’s important to warm up, so you don’t hurt yourself lifting weights or stretching later.
How to work out. If you want to get a cut and toned body, the best exercises to do would be those that don’t require any machinery and where you can use nothing but your own body weight for resistance, like push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges, crunches, etc.
1. When you use machinery, you should also do every exercise very slowly. That way muscles will get the maximum workout. Never use inertia. If you feel that it’s too hard to do it slowly, that means you need to use smaller weights. It’s better to use fewer weights and do more reps, than go fast and heavy. The perfect weight for you is the one that you can do about 15-17 reps with at a time. People, who use weights they can barely lift, end up getting bulky and round, which a lot of times just makes them look fat.
2. Every time after completing an exercise, you need to take a 40-90 second break. That way you will bring your heart rate to normal and gather strength for your next challenge. It is very important not to lie on the floor or sit in one place during your break. When you were doing your exercise, your heart was beating really fast and imagine what would happen if all of a sudden you completely stop what you were doing and your heart had no more pressure to beat fast. Doing this long term might cause serious heart and general health problems or even a heart attack. That’s why you need to gradually bring your heart rate to normal. Walk around the gym. Go from one end to another or just do a circle. If you feel too tired to walk, at least get up and stand in one place while deeply breathing. Don’t wait too long between exercises. If you wait for 5-10 minutes, your body would cool down and your heart would completely relax, making it harder to get back to work again.
How to end a workout. After completing your workout, take 5-10 minutes to bring your body to its default mode. Since your muscles are warm, this is the perfect time for stretching. Start the stretching from your feet and legs, gradually going up to your back, arms and neck. If you don’t have enough time or/and patience for this, at least stretch the muscle groups you were just working on. Stretching will help you relax and your muscles will be less sore the next day.