Could drinking a simple cup of coffee before you exercise combat laziness and help you stick to your fitness goals?
If you’re feeling lazy or unmotivated to exercise, it might be a simple fact of evolution. Humans have evolved to find ways to conserve energy, making it difficult to sustain exercise for the long term. At the end of the day, it’s natural to opt for a session on the sofa over the gym.
But physical inactivity kills. Repeated research has shown that a sedentary lifestyle skyrockets the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and type-2 diabetes.
Drink Coffee Before You Exercise to Stimulate Your Workout
Now look, I don’t need to tell you how important exercise is. And if your New Year’s resolution is to get more active and improve your fitness level and health, I know how hard it can be. But do you know the secret to surviving the struggle? And don’t worry; I’m not going to give you some self-help spiel, because that won’t do a thing for you when you’re 10 minutes in to your walk or 20 minutes through a workout.
Here’s the secret: All you might need to keep on track this year—and well into the future—is a good ol’ fashioned cup of Joe. And I’ll tell you something else: it works like a charm for me.
That’s right, I’m totally serious. Drinking a cup of coffee or consuming some other form of caffeine about 20-30 minutes before exercise can help you power through without even thinking about it.
Coffee and Fitness: Reduce Perception of Effort During Exercise
One of the biggest barriers to exercise is the perception of effort. And if humans are “inherently lazy,” it’s no wonder why the idea of physical exertion is almost an instant turn off. But when you drink coffee or take caffeine, the perception of exertion and effort can be drastically reduced, making it much easier to embrace activity.
A recent paper in the scientific journal Sports Medicine suggested that caffeine could be the key to helping people stick to their healthy resolutions for the long term. The author essentially points out that stimulants, like caffeine, reduce the perception of effort and allow people to exercise for longer; it creates the feeling that they are exerting less effort.
Now I know that it might sound like I’m telling you to get high (on caffeine) to ease the pain, but consider this: do you think drinking a cup of coffee every day to help you increase activity is a bad thing? I certainly don’t—the benefits of exercise strongly outweigh the risks of a sedentary lifestyle.
Caffeine is a great natural stimulant that offers a number of metabolic benefits. In order assess your tolerance, start small by drinking a small or medium coffee about 20-30 minutes prior to exercise. A tall cup of “Starbucks” coffee (12 fluid ounces) will offer around 260 mg of caffeine, which should be enough to get you through your workout.
If you have an existing heart condition, it’s important to talk to your doctor—not just about caffeine intake, but about exercise. Learn what your current limits are and stay within them. As you stick to your plan and experience results, you’ll see your capabilities grow!
Source for Today’s Article:
“Coffee to keep New Year fitness resolutions,” ScienceDaily web site, January 13, 2016; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113133334.htm.