Three Things to Do Before and After a Workout
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!