The 60-days-long Insanity workout program is certainly not for the faint of heart, or people who have never exercised before. Especially the first week of each month feels like suicide-on-a-leash. If you have the will power to make it through those first, brutal seven days you are rewarded with an amazing sense of accomplishment, increased energy and ever-increasing stamina.
That is, until you get to the first week of month two– then it’s like fitness purgatory all over again.
If you feel discouraged now– don’t be! There is a light at the end of the tunnel that keeps getting brighter as your body adjusts to the new challenge Shaun T. is putting you through. The exercises will seem easier as your body gets stronger. But if you need a few pointers along the way, here is what helped me.
- Take a day off if you are extremely sore and exhausted. You will perform so much better once your body has regenerated itself.
- Go at your own speed! You might feel like a snail in reverse, but there is no point in trying to keep up with Shaun and his minions. Slow and steady wins the race!!
- Take frequent breaks! Seriously, think quality rather than quantity. Better to do only five squats with perfect form followed by a 15 second break, than 15 sloppy ones that ultimately result in a knee injury. Agreed?!
- Stretch! Stretch! Stretch! Don’t skip it before or after your workout. It helps prevent injuries, increases flexibility and reduces post-workout soreness.
- Take a hot bath post-workout. The warmth will relax your muscles and reduce soreness.
- Get an additional hour of sleep. Sleep is the best medicine for pretty much anything, including physical exhaustion from intense workouts.
- Increase your water consumption. Since you are pretty much dripping all over the place during your Insanity workouts you need to replace fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Eat healthy! No, that does not include Dunkin Donuts for carbs. Switch to whole wheat, lean meat, salad, vegetables, and last but certainly not least, protein so that your body can produce new muscle fibers.
- Get a massage. Aside from the positive psychological effects (e.g. relaxation) a massage also helps move the lactate that was produced by your muscle tissue during the workouts. As a result your muscles won’t feel as sore and tight.
So, dig deep and keep your eyes on the prize: a fitter, leaner YOU!
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