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Keep Your Workout Focus on Yourself, Not on Your Pain

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Workouts can sometimes come with a little bit of pain. Although it's generally recommended to stop working out if you start having severe pain, some discomfort is common both during and after workouts. If you're able to stop that pain, you can focus more on having the workout that you're looking for! By following these steps, you can make sure that you're getting the right workout without potentially setting yourself up for severe post-workout pain.


Have the right workout plan.

Every person needs their own workout plan. What works for your friend might not work for you, and your body might be more cut out for a certain type of exercise that you haven't thought about. This doesn't need to be something that you stick to unerringly, but it should at least be something that guides you in all of your workouts.

You don't have to pay a personal trainer to help you set up your own workout plan, but it's a good idea to at least have something set up. You can create a workout plan with tools available online, or you might even be able to ask some fitness-obsessed friends. Remember to ramp up your workouts slowly, so your body gets adjusted to it.

Don't be afraid to take rest days.

Setting up rest days in advance is an incredibly important part of your workout plan, and it should be part of every plan that you create. Your body needs rest days in order to heal and recuperate; working out every single day will only make you feel miserable and hurt your body. Having those days built into your schedule will give you something to look forward to, and help you remember not to overwork yourself.

However, sometimes you also need to take impromptu rest days. If a tragedy has recently struck in your family, or you've run into some financial trouble that currently needs all of your attention, it's okay to cut down a little on your workouts. If you've recently injured yourself, you need to be careful going back into your workout routine. No matter what, just remember that rest days aren't bad. They're there for an important reason, so use them.

Take supplements if necessary.

Taking supplements, vitamins, and minerals is a great way to increase your performance! When you're using natural supplements or changing your diet to include extra vitamins, they're not changing your body in any way. Instead, they're just optimizing the way your body works. Here are some good supplements to use that can increase your ability to have a fulfilling workout.

Vitamin D

If your workouts are largely outside, you may have just fine Vitamin D levels, but otherwise, there's a good chance that your Vitamin D is lacking a little bit. Low Vitamin D is related to depression and weak bones, both things that can have a significant impact on your workouts. You can take Vitamin D as a supplement, get it as an additive in milk, or just spend some extra time outside every day.

Omega-3's

Omega-3 fatty acids should be an incredibly important part of any athlete's required nutrients. They're a great way to make sure your body and your brain are both in alignment, and can help alleviate stiffness and inflammation both during and after workouts. Although you can get them by eating certain foods, you can also take a fish oil capsule or algae supplement to get your omega-3's every day.

CBD

There are a number of reasons that CBD should be an integral part of your athletic medicine cabinet. The best CBD capsules will help you calm down and be a little looser, making it easier to go through a hard workout without hurting yourself. CBD oil capsules are easy and convenient to take. You can also get CBD oils and tinctures, which you can rub on affected areas to provide relief from muscle soreness.

Although workouts might end up with a little bit of pain, that doesn't have to be your main focus. In fact, it shouldn't be! By just taking a few steps, you can alleviate pain while still having a great workout.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.