A truly healthy and active lifestyle does not rely on exercise alone. You must make sure you’re taking the right steps; this means making sure you’re doing the right thing before and after your exercises. To help you understand what we mean, here are three things you should do before and after a workout.
Before a Workout
Make sure you’re well rested and well fed.
Before beginning your workout, you should ensure that you have sufficient energy. If you’re well-rested, you won’t feel the need to overfeed yourself throughout the day; overeating cancels out the workout you’ve done, so to get the most out of your effort, make sure to get enough sleep.
Additionally, have a pre-workout meal 60-90 minutes before your actual workout; this is a must especially for more intensive workouts. Food fuels you with the energy and stamina you need to complete your exercise. Even if it’s just oatmeal and orange juice, you’ll be good to go.
Before warming up, use a foam roller.
A foam roller is a cylindrical object used to apply pressure on various parts of the body. Using a foam roller allows you to focus on certain points of your body with unusual amounts of tension. It acts as a self-massage tool that breaks up knots in your tissues. A common practice is to use the foam roller from the lower body, then make your way up limb by limb; however, make sure not to roll over your joints or lower back as this may cause injury.
Do dynamic stretches.
Reserve the more static stretches for cooling down. Before your actual workout, you should do more dynamic stretches to warm your muscles thus making you feel more relaxed and ready. Moreover, some examples of dynamic stretches you can look into are walking lunges and knee pul
After a Workout
Stretch, stretch, stretch!
Workouts usually leave you feeling breathless yet renewed; the pain doesn’t hit you until the next day. To save yourself from feeling this soreness and possible injury, make sure to cool down after your workout. As mentioned before, static stretches work best for cooling down. Focus on the parts of your body you think you exercised the most; remember to hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds. Never postpone your stretches; besides, it only takes 10-15 minutes!
Cooldown – quite literally!
Take a cold shower after a very sweaty workout; this not only refreshes you, it also reduces the risk of inflammation and soreness. Lower water temperature speeds up your body’s healing process, but it doesn’t need to be ice cold! Turning the temperature lower than normal should be enough for you.
Eat and drink up!
After working out, you should energize yourself once more with food and water. Think your pre-workout and post-workout meals through; make sure it’s delicious and nutritious enough. Additionally, you lose water and electrolytes during exercise, so remember to hydrate yourself with plenty of water.
These are precautions and practices done to ensure that you’ll have a safe journey towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. Follow through to minimize the pain and maximize your gain!
If you are reading this, then congratulations! Merely taking an interest and searching up these words on the Internet is a step towards your ultimate goal. Furthermore, by reading through these articles, you’ll know whether or not you have the dedication and passion for pursuing a healthier and more active lifestyle.
These articles are designed to guide you from the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep. Achieving physical fitness is a full-time responsibility, so ensuring that your activities 24/7 contributes to better health is a must.
It does not matter whether you’re a beginner to physical fitness or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for more information. These articles explain the building blocks and basics of exercise, diets, and health habits for your browsing pleasure, or possible reference.
If you’re only just starting to live this lifestyle, you’ll find helpful tips and extensive explanations of exercise-related terms. Understanding these categories, activities, and the like is vital for you to be inspired and push forward to achieve your goal.
It may take more effort than usual to break out of your bad habits and live healthier, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Here are some possible benefits you can achieve from reading through these articles and attempting to follow through:
- Lessen the risk of various diseases
A more active lifestyle constantly maintains and improves the state of your body.
- Improves overall living
When you practice these activities continuously, you’ll find various tasks you find challenging immensely easier.
- Lessen stress
Aside from not having to worry about disease, an active lifestyle also helps lessen stress; physical activities can be recreational, too!
- Better self-esteem
Knowing that you’re doing all you can to take care of your body is a huge boost of self- confidence.
- Muscle and bone protection in the long run
Time passes by quicker than you think; by starting to live a healthier lifestyle now, you reduce the risk of bone and muscle diseases as you age.
It may take time for you to transition; however, bear in mind the countless benefits you’ll receive once you adjust. Take it slowly and with care – these articles are here to propel you towards the right direction.
You’ll learn bits and pieces of the road up ahead by perusing the following articles; you’ll learn more about what you should and should not consume. You’ll even be given tips about your water consumption! The everyday activities that you do, including sleeping and showering, are also shone light upon – you need to learn as much as you can to delve into this lifestyle prepared.
Moreover, the majority of these articles focus on exercise-related terms and exercises that are especially perfect for those seeking to begin. You may need to take baby steps – we aren’t all professional athletes – so the following articles should help you determine your next move, and how you’ll go about it.
Whether you want to lead a traditional active lifestyle or a more exciting one, read on; the main purpose of these writings is to provide you with the information you want and need.
Before fully delving into exercise, you need to know more about the kind of exercise you will need. Exercise is a broad term used to describe any activity that maintains or enhances the body’s physical fitness. In general, it has four categories. These categories are discussed extensively below to aid you in choosing and carrying out your perfect workout.
Aerobic exercises can also be called endurance exercises. The purpose of these exercises is to give your heart and lungs a workout. At the end of these exercises, your heart may be beating loudly and breathing heavier than usual; however, this is fairly normal. These exercises challenge your heart and lungs to build up your endurance, which in turn makes everyday activities easier for you. Going up staircases will not be a problem if you focus on doing your aerobic exercises.
Some examples of this category include:
- Brisk walking
Your body’s flexibility deteriorates as you age; this increases the risk of muscle pain and cramps. Additionally, you may find it hard to do menial things such as tying your shoestrings or reaching to pick up a fallen pen. Through flexibility exercises, you work to maintain and enhance the current flexibility you have. You have to take care not to overstretch yourself, though; stretching until you are in pain does not contribute to your overall flexibility and rather, takes away from it.
Some examples of this category include:
- Knee rotation
- Shoulder and upper arm stretch
- Static stretches
Another aspect of your body that declines over time is your balance. With balance exercises, you strengthen your core in order to lessen the risk of falls and slip-ups. Balance-focused classes are sometimes offered at gyms; additionally, you can consult a physical therapist to determine what specific exercises you should do to alleviate your weaknesses.
Some examples of this category include:
- Tai Chi
- Standing on one foot
- Heel to toe walking
- Sideways walking
Strength training aids you in your everyday activities. If you do strength exercises continuously, your bones and muscles will be well maintained. Bringing all the groceries in one trip will not be a problem!
You may feel fatigued after a strength workout, but the fatigue is a sign that you have exercised your muscles effectively. You may also consult with a physical therapist if you want to train your body’s strength selectively
Some examples of this category include:
- Using resistance machines
- Using resistance bands
Some activities may be a combination of two or more of these categories. Ideally, you should alternate between these categories. This makes every workout different and exciting while keeping all aspects of your body well exercised and maintained; additionally, it also reduces the risk of injury through overworking certain parts of your body. By keeping these categories and the benefits each has, you can personalize your workouts to a completely new level!
If you are a beginner to exercising, you might find gyms, workout guides, and the like extremely intimidating; additionally, you might want to start slow and work your way towards physical fitness at your own pace. Worry not, if “normal” exercise just does not cut it for you, here are five more out-of-the-box ways to exercise.
Enroll in a dance class! As you glide across the dance floor, your entire body will be exercised. In fact, several gyms offer dance classes to cater to those who want to burn their calories while jamming to the latest hits. If you are not comfortable dancing in front of other people, there are thousands of dance exercise tutorials online that you can follow through; you do not need to buy instructional DVDs anymore! Most videos are free and highly effective, especially in weight loss. Just make sure to dance continuously to get the best results out of your workout.
If running and jogging are activities that are too tiring for you, try walking! Instead of driving to the grocery store, you can try walking. Even short fifteen-minute walks are steps towards your fitness goal. In addition to being a viable workout, walking is also a wallet-friendly workout! Walking is great cardio and has most benefits of running and jogging without the added strain.
Who doesn’t want to splash in a pool during hot summer days? Aside from being a nice way to cool off, swimming is also a good workout and aids in weight loss. There is a term coined for aerobics done underwater – aqua-aerobics or “swimnastics”; some public pools offer this class to help swimmers work off their calories. It’s a fun way to exercise and especially preferable for older people to maintain their cardiovascular health.
Playing sports is a surefire way to exercise anyone; however, I am not merely referring to sports. Even childhood games such as tag, hide-and-seek, and treasure hunts are enough to make you sweat! Get a few friends together to make it a group effort – the more, the merrier. If you’re one to ride solo, try various toys to make your exercise fun; for example, jump ropes and hula-hoops can be used in many different exercises!
Instead of spending your vacation cooped up in a hotel room, opt for more active locations! Perhaps you can book a room at a skiing place. Exercise by skiing down slopes or sledding through the snow. On the other hand, if you prefer sunnier places, take a brisk walk along the shore or join a game of beach volleyball!
Exercise does not have to mean a solid hour by yourself, counting reps; its challenge can also be fun and engaging. If a physical activity sounds interesting to you, don’t be afraid to try it! Rock-climbing, martial arts, etcetera – there are a lot of exciting ways to work your body, and you have all the time in the world to find your “unexercise” exercise!
Fitting workouts into your busy schedule may not be easy; however, there are quite a few exercises that you can easily do in mere minutes. Here are four of these exercises which are perfect for busybodies who want to lead a more active lifestyle.
Running, jogging, or walking
If you have a few minutes to spare before leaving for work, take a quick jog around your block. You can set your own pace – run, jog, or walk! Running puts more strain on your muscles but is very effective if you want to lose weight; on the other hand, walking reduces the risk of injury but does not burn as many calories as running or jogging. Jogging is a good balance between the two. All three activities keep your heart healthy, improves your overall immunity to sickness, and leaves you feeling energized and refreshed!
Jumping jacks are classic exercises anybody can try! It is simple enough to learn; first, you need to stand with your feet together and your hands at your side. Next, you jump, raising your arms above your head and spreading your feet wide at the same time. It is a cardio exercise that requires constant repetition. Jumping jacks improve your flexibility, increase your stamina, and also reduce the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Crunches have many variations that focus on certain muscles. For toning the obliques, for example, the reverse crunch may be preferable. To do a reverse crunch, lie with your feet flat on the floor and your hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the floor and keep your knees together at a 90-degree angle. You should then lift your shoulders off the ground while pulling your knees towards you, slightly raising your hips in the process.
Repeat this procedure, and you will have well-toned lower abs in no time. If you are looking to tone different parts of your core, there are many other variations available for you to peruse on the Internet; with your developed core, you will gain improved balance, better posture, and reduced risk of muscle and back injury.
Squats involve not only one’s legs but their hips and knees as well. Your muscles will be developed through this exercise but only if done correctly. First, stand with your feet a little over shoulder-width apart while keeping your back straight. Next, slowly bend your knees until you reach a 90-degree angle. Breathe in as you bend, and out as you return to your earlier position. For beginners, 2-3 sets of 20 squats are recommended.
Indeed, these exercises are easy to do and follow. If you require additional assistance or want more variety, there are workout tutorials readily available on YouTube. You will probably find it challenging – maybe even tedious! – to repeat these exercises over and over, but healthy living and physical fitness call for that additional effort. It may only take fifteen minutes, but it is a huge step towards your fitness goal!
You need to eat before and after a workout – it is a known fact. To truly live a healthy and active life, you should ensure that the food you eat is nutritious too; however, nutritious does not have to mean bad tasting. To prove our point, here are five pre-workout and post-workout meals that you can try.
Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Who would not want to be energized by a smoothie this good? You can make this scrumptious smoothie by blending ice, bananas, a teaspoon of peanut butter, and almond milk. Customize the flavor of your drink by adding cinnamon or vanilla extract – it is entirely up to personal preference.
Bananas, in general, are a good source of energy; this amazing fruit boosts your glycogen and sugar levels. It is best to consume this 30 minutes-1 hour before the workout; additionally, it is also a nice pick-me-up after a particularly intense workout!
Greek Yogurt and Dried Fruit
To perform your best at a workout, you need to consume a certain amount of sugar. Greek yogurt with dried fruit is enough to provide you with that boost; moreover, it has enough protein and sugar to keep you feeling full without the unnecessary calories! Preparation of this meal is easy; you just mix your preferred fruits into the Greek yogurt. Some people also include a dash of honey or nuts to spruce up their snack.
If you are in a bit of a hurry, protein shakes can solve your time crunch. Proteins help prevent the muscles in your body from breaking down while at the same time, aiding in muscle recovery. You just need to blend your base liquid – either milk or juice – with your whey protein mix; you can also add fruits to enhance your shake’s flavor further! It is an easy way to get you up and running.
If you’re looking to whip up a nutritious meal quickly, make some omelets. Egg omelets are rich in protein, which are a huge help to your body’s muscles; however, consumption of protein should be done 2-3 hours before the actual workout for best performance. To make your omelets even healthier, you can include veggies in your mix, or pair your omelet with whole grain toast.
Sweet potatoes are a staple food for most bodybuilders. It has lower calories than regular white potatoes, but taste just as good! Sweet potatoes also contain lots of fiber, which helps you maintain your appetite and build up your muscles; in addition to this, sweet potato also contains carbohydrates that provide you with energy to carry out your exercise – and help you recover afterward! A common way to serve sweet potato is to cut them up into wedges and serve them; a healthier alternative to french fries!
Indeed, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds just to eat nutritious food. A healthy lifestyle also means having to use your creativity to find the perfect balance between healthy and yummy!