The fitness industry is always coming out with new ways to make the most of your workout, pre-workout and supplements included. But what does pre-workout and workout supplements contain and how do they really work?
Pre-workout supplements may not make you faster, bigger, or stronger, but they’ll make you feel like you are. Many of the active ingredients in these supplements increase blood flow, heart rate, and focus!
Pre-workouts normally contain caffeine, amino acids, vitamin B3, as well as unhealthy artificial ingredients.
Having small amounts of caffeine before a workout has been shown to have positive effects, such as being able to lift more weight, maintain better focus, and in some cases even run faster. However, too much caffeine can be bad. Many pre-workout supplements contain high levels of caffeine so monitor your caffeine intake if using pre-workout or other supplements.
The amino acids found in pre-workout differ, but normally are healthy when taken in the correct dosage. Vitamin B3, found in some pre-workouts, have been shown to help treat high cholesterol levels, help clogged arteries, and benefit heart health. However, if consumed in large amounts it can cause liver problems and increase blood sugar.
The artificial sweeteners and additives found in pre-workout can cause a variety of symptoms from upset stomach, abdominal pain, and can even be precursors to diabetes.
Rule of thumb: If you enjoy taking pre-workout, make sure to read the ingredients and never take more than the recommended dose.
The dreaded fitness slump. We’ve all been there. You make it to the gym. You’re staring at the treadmill. You’re normally fired up to begin. But this time you’re not. You’re just not.
It happens to everyone. So take heart, and realize there are ways to ride out your slump and get your mojo back again. Here are some tips we use.
1. Shorten Your Workout
Take things down a notch. Maybe run 20 minutes instead of 40. Do fewer reps on the weight machine. Beg out of class a little early. Keep with what’s been working for you, but do it in a shorter amount of time.
2. Try Something New
Maybe today is the day you wander over to the elliptical machines and see if you like it. Or perhaps that kick-boxing bag is calling to you? Deviating from your typical workout can be a good way to keep the body fresh and work new muscles.
3. Don’t Stress
We can’t emphasize this enough. Occasional lack of motivation really does happen to everyone. Remember that fitness should be fun and relaxing. Try some deep breathing. Stretch. Observe others. Not every day is going to be epic. That’s OK.
4. Let the Music Move You
Sometimes a little Green Day is all you need to turn your workout into a great day. The right playlist can improve your efficiency, boost your motivation and just be a ton of fun. Don’t be afraid to rock out.
5. Talk to a Snap Trainer
Sometimes another voice can make all the difference. Our trainers have seen athletes in every kind of emotional and physical state. You won’t share anything they haven’t heard before. They will be able to suggest ways to get the most out of your fitness day, even when you’re not totally feeling it.
6. Shut It Down
Sometimes the body just needs to rest. Nothing wrong with that. Listen to your body. There’s always tomorrow. We’ll be here for you.
Recovering is a crucial part of any fitness regimen. Resting and recovering can be challenging to for some to do but allows for muscle repair, chemical and hormone balance in the body, improved mental state, and much more! Following the 80/20 rule is a great place to start. Training and eating well 80% of the time, resting and enjoying life 20% of the time! Some of our favorite recovery techniques include:
- Rest: Sleep allows your body and muscles to repair and recover quickly.
- Hydrate and Eating Well: Staying hydrated and refueling your body with nutritious foods help to restore your energy supply, allowing you to enhance your performance in the gym.
- Ice Baths: Taking an ice bath sounds awful, but has many benefits! Ice baths cause blood vessels to constrict, pushing the blood away from the muscles, relieving muscle tension.
- Stretching: Attending a less-intense yoga class on your recovery day is a great way to continue moving, while stretching out those sore muscles! Another great way to stretch out and relieve muscle tension is foam rolling.
Hang up those sneakers and have a happy rest day, #SnapNation!
Let’s face it. We all get colds at some point, and they’re not fun. They’re especially annoying when they interfere with your workouts. But do they have to? Not necessarily. In fact, exercise and diet choices through a cold can help strengthen your immune system and shorten your time coughing and sneezing. Just follow these six tips the next time you feel something coming on.
- Eat Foods High in Antioxidants. This means fruits and vegetables, particularly nutrient-dense foods, like dark leafy greens, berries, salmon, and sweet potatoes, which have anti-inflammatory properties. And good old chicken noodle soup is a super food when it comes to treating a cold. Your mom was right.
- Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. They decrease immune function. Enough said.
- Probiotics Can Help. Probiotics have bacteria that can reduce inflammation and prevent infection. Yogurt is a popular source of probiotics, or you might try a supplement. Talk to a Snap Fitness professional about our brand of Clean Vitamins.
- Keep Up with Your Exercise Routine. Prevention is the best defense. Exercise is an immune-booster and research shows that people who work out report fewer colds. But if you do get a cold, you can still exercise and it won’t make it worse. Not if the symptoms are from the neck up, such as a runny nose, congestion, or sore throat. Of course, if the cold is bad, use common sense and take your workout down a notch. Maybe walk instead of run. But it’s OK to get that heart rate up.
- Get Your Sleep. Getting enough rest is crucial. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep at night and a 20-minute power nap if you’re falling short.
- Drink Plenty of Liquids. It’s critical to stay hydrated to keep your throat and airways clear. Avoid sweetened beverages as too much sugar can cause inflammation, which weakens your immune system.
Growing up, John was always skinny. He played high school tennis, and in college was thin, but not active. After college, he got married and started a desk job. John started to slowly gain weight. Over the next thirty years his weight ballooned and began to affect his health. He was close to 300lbs at his heaviest weight. John got to the point where he couldn’t even go shopping with his wife without his legs hurting and running out of breath. He also was taking many different medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other conditions.
In July of 2015 John had enough. He started to make changes like counting calories, eating healthy, and joined Snap Fitness Luling, TX. John says it was a long, hard, process but over the year his weight dropped and he now feels better than he has felt in years! In July of 2016 he weighed around 205lbs, 95lbs lighter, and was off of almost all medications. He is now focusing on getting his muscle tone back and feels like he is in the best health of his life, and we couldn't be happier for him!