Working out regularly is a fantastic way to keep on top of your fitness and can benefit every part of your body if you do it right! Making sure that you prepare yourself, both physically and mentally, before a workout will help you to make the most of the exercise that you do. This can also help you to maintain your stamina and motivation as you push yourself harder and harder through each session.
Developing a consistent pre-workout routine is not only useful for preparing your body, but also for getting into the right state of mind. If you approach a workout without some kind of preparation routine then you may find that you lose interest in the task at hand, or that you don’t push yourself as hard as you know you can! This does not necessarily have to be a complicated ritual, or even involve much forethought at all. The following tips aim to show you how to simply but effectively get ready for every exercise session!
Eating and Exercise
Eating before you exercise is a great way to fuel your body, but you must make sure that you do so at the right time. Depending on your digestive system, it is generally advisable to eat approximately two hours before you get started with your regime. This should give you a burst of energy just when you need it most. If you eat immediately before you exercise, or even as far as 30 minutes beforehand, then you may find that your stomach has an unpleasant reaction which can hinder your efforts. On the flip-side, if you have not eaten for several hours before you exercise then you may lack the energy to get through your session.
When you plan your pre-workout meal, be sure to include a mix of carbohydrates and protein so that you have the right type of fuel! Peanut butter on wholemeal toast or with a banana are perfect choices. You may also enjoy drinking a fruit smoothie with an added protein powder supplement. Finishing your workout with a protein shake will help you to build muscle quicker, and to repair damage in the body caused by your workout.
Hydration and Exercise
You should always be sure to hydrate adequately before your workout. This requires minimal effort and you should actually make it a priority to stay hydrated throughout the day anyway. Do not wait until you are thirsty to have some water, but instead always have a bottle to hand and sip at regular intervals. Also, be sure to take water with you while you are exercising so that you can keep yourself topped up.
Try not to over-hydrate immediately before exercise as you may find that you urinate at an increased rate. This will not only disrupt your session but can actually lead to more water expelled then taken in.
Some people prefer to drink sports drinks instead of water while they are working out. The problem with this is that they often do not realise that these drinks can contain high levels of sugar and additives - neither of which are great for your health!
Technology and Exercise
Consulting a fitness app is also useful for pre-workout preparation as it will allow you to track your progress and therefore prepare mentally. Using an app will also remind you of the exercises that you wish to include in each individual session and show you the number of reps and the amount of weight that you should be achieving in order to progress.
If you do not want to use an app for any reason, then ensure that you are tracking your progress in some other way. You can even just use a pen and notepad to write down which exercises you have completed, and also make a note of how well you managed to do so. You will then have a better idea of where to start when you come to your next session.
Warm Up and Stretch
Finally, always try to ease into your exercise session gently with a light warm up before you really push yourself. This will help to loosen up your muscles and prepare your body for the physical activity to come. Engaging in a five to ten minute entire body stretching routine can really help to get you in the mood mentally, as well as physically prepare your body for what you are about to do!
If you are reading this article then it is likely that you have already embarked upon a fitness regime and you are now looking for ways to improve your efforts - and that's great! Incorporating the tips from this article into your existing routine could soon give you a boost, and encourage you to continue finding ways to maximise the effectiveness of your sessions. This is something that we love to talk about regularly at Onto Orthopedics in order to help you maintain your health, so visit us again for more information soon!