There’s a natural tendency to jump right into your workout and then head immediately to your car as soon as you’re finished. And who can blame you? Everyone is short on time these days.
But if you practice what should be done before your workout and immediately afterward, you’ll improve your progress and results. Here are 10 additional things that need to be a part of your fitness routine.
Before you workout:
- Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep will not only give you the energy you need to do an effective workout, it also keeps your hunger hormones at bay, so you don’t overeat after you leave the gym.
- Drink! A lot of us grab our water bottle in the middle or end of our workouts, but it’s just as important to hydrate before you begin. We suggest your daily amount of water be half of your bodyweight in ounces per day.
- Grab a snack. This one is not a must—if you’re not feeling like eating before your workout, you don’t need to force yourself to eat. But if you’re even a little hungry, grab a healthy snack so you have the energy to exercise. And if you exercise first thing in the morning, as many of us do, then eat something.
- Make sure your workout clothing and footwear are right for your workout. This isn’t about style. Make sure you’re wearing workout clothing that allows you to jump, stretch, run, and move every way you need to. Wear athletic shoes that give you the support you need.
- Do a dynamic warm-up. Warming up raises your body temperature, increases your range of motion, and prepares your muscles for what you’re about to do. It also decreases chances of injury.
Right after your workout:
- Stretch. While dynamic stretching is best for warming up, those regular old stretches you’ve done since middle-school gym class are what you need for cooling down. Stretching muscles that are already warmed up helps your joints stay mobile and improves your range of motion. Hold these stretches for at least 15 seconds each.
- Use a foam roller. Rolling on the foam roller works out any kinks or knots that may have developed. Experts also recommend using a foam roller to help with muscle soreness after exercising since it increases blood flow to the tissues you used in your workout.
- Drink water. The only thing listed on both our pre- and post-workout lists is drinking water. That’s because it’s so important to stay hydrated!
- Eat after exercising. Giving your body the fuel it needs after a tough workout is essential. The right kind of snack will replenish glycogen stores and rebuild muscle. Try to take in at least 20 grams of protein with your postworkout snack.
- Track your progress. Right after your workout is the best time to track your progress—while you’re still at the gym. Keeping track of what you did allows you to keep challenging yourself.
Make your workout the best it can be!
Give us a call today. We can develop a personal workout routine for you to meet your fitness goals and teach you an effective pre- and post-workout program as well.
Next time you’re getting ready to workout, just remind yourself that adding a few minutes before and after your workout will give you quicker and better results!