Four tips to help you smash your next workout

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Exercise. I imagine just after reading that one word you are planning on shutting down your computer and never listening to what UTSoC has to say ever again. Samantha Twining explains why you should give it another chance.

You may or may not have heard of the UTSOC’s Sports Portfolio. This year we’re running weekly short workout sessions, otherwise known as ‘Let’s get Physical!’.

Now I know at first glance it doesn’t sound like much fun, but you’ll have to trust me on this one, after pushing past the (feel good) pain you’ll be fired up for the rest of your day ready to smash out your assignments and then sleep like an absolute baby.

If you’re still not convinced and think of physical exertion as a form of torture, well I know how you feel. During my pre-teen years, I hated any sort of physical activity. My mother would drag me to 6 am spin classes three times a week (I still shudder at the thought of riding a stationary bike in a disco-lit room). It was not until I turned 14 that I found my groove, and now I’m a certified Personal Trainer and passing on a portion of the information I’ve learned along the years to you. Here are a few workout tips to get you ready for our weekly sweat sesh!

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Fuel

The fitness industry is full of fake fitness ‘influencers’ telling you false information. There is also lots of conflicting information when it comes to food. In this case, food before a workout. You may be told you MUST eat before a workout. Or that fasting before exercising increases fat burning. I’m here to tell you that it’s all a lie. Mostly. Carbs and protein can help you perform better as it provides energy, but it’s really up to you. If you feel sick eating before exercise, don’t eat. If you feel that it personally helps you perform better, then eat. Simple. Also, fasting does not make you burn fat; eating in a caloric deficit makes you burn fat. But that’s an entirely different conversation.

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Have a Water Bottle Handy

I know, it’s obvious. But you’d be surprised the number of people I see rocking up to the gym without a water bottle. Despite what you have been told before, there is no ‘one size fits all’ amount of water that everyone should be drinking. Your optimal water intake is your body weight (in kg) multiplied by 0.033. When you sweat, your body is trying to return itself to the optimal temperature. As you sweat, you’re losing body fluid, so you need to drink even more water when exercising to replace these fluids lost by sweat. A bonus is that you’re being environmentally friendly if you bring your water bottle instead of buying a plastic bottle post-workout. #saveourplanet

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Warm Up

Another obvious tip, but incredibly important. Not only does warming up prevent the likeliness of injuries during your workout, but it could also help you perform better. By activating the relevant muscles, you’ll be prepared physically and mentally to smash your workout. But don’t worry if you’re not sure how to warm up, the sports team will lead you through some dynamic stretching to make sure you’re ready to go.

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Remember to Breathe

Don’t forget to listen to your body when working out. Make sure to breathe and if you have to, take a small break and then get right back into the session. It’s okay to take a rest even if other people are still going. You are not competing against them, only yourself. If you don’t feel as though you’re performing as well as you did last week and want to give up, don’t beat yourself up over it. Take a deep breath, remind yourself why you came in the first place and turn up next week ready for more.

If you’re feeling inspired, come down and train with us during semester 2. The workouts are never over 30 minutes, and we focus on full body HIITs and ab sessions. It’s only 2% of your entire day to get the body moving and blood flowing. Here’s the link to our Facebook group if you haven’t already joined. We hope to see you there! ☺

Samantha Twining is a second year Public Communication student who spends most of her time studying about nutrition and training when she should be doing her university assignments. She plans on becoming a full-time personal trainer after she graduates and hopes to banish all speak of “skinny teas” in the future.