We cannot emphasize enough the importance of exercising in our body – physically, emotionally, and mentally. There are numerous benefits of exercising, including maintaining the heart, brain, bones, and muscles in top form. It also improves your immune system and helps you achieve your weight goals.
Exercising is no doubt beneficial for the body. However, to get the best results, you should also pay attention to the activities you do before and after your workout. The pre-and post-workout routine matters more than you expect, and they play a significant part in achieving your desired goal.
If you don’t know what to include in these routines, don’t fret because we got your back. The following are some of the things you can add to your pre-and post-workout rituals for optimized results.
An exceptional pre-workout routine starts even before you take a step into the gym. The pre-workout routine prepares your body for the strenuous activity you’re about to do. The following are a few to include in your list to create a solid before the workout ritual.
Fuel Up the Body
Eating before working out allows you to get the energy you need. Foods high in protein and carbohydrates, such as toast with peanut butter, eggs, granola bar, and greek yogurt, are recommended. Fruits like apples, bananas, and oranges are also great because they are complex carbohydrates, making them a more sustainable form of energy. Protein shakes and supplements such as creatine powder also work.
However, you should know that some people can get an upset stomach if they eat a pre-workout snack. Generally, when you partake in having a pre-workout snack, eat an hour before exercising. Just remember that you should not be starving, but you should not be feeling too full either.
You’re going to be sweating a lot when you are exercising, which is why hydration is a crucial part of a pre-workout routine. The suggested amount of water to take is 17-20 ounces within 2-3 hours before starting working out. In addition, hydrating allows your body to combat muscle cramps and dizziness.
Remember, don’t chug the water immediately before you exercise unless you want to visit the bathroom throughout your workout routine.
Get Enough Rest
Having plenty of sleep and a good rest is vital to your overall health and body. Quality sleep takes around 7-9 hours, and it gives you energy levels, better focus, stamina, and even better results from the same exercise. Moreover, working out helps you sleep better, making it a mutually beneficial relationship.
Prioritize having a good night’s rest to be prepared and get the best result in your workout the next day.
Never Skip Warm-Up
The primary purpose of warming up is to prepare the body for the exercises you’re going to perform. In addition, it also readies your body for motion and increases your body temperature. Not only that, because warming up also prevents muscle soreness and injury.
Light and less extensive activities like side hops, jumping jacks, and skipping without rope are perfect for warm-ups. These motions heat up the muscles and accelerate your blood flow and heartbeat. Even for short workouts, warming up is a must.
What you wear during working out significantly impacts your mobility and flexibility. Your ability to run, jump, stretch, and move will also depend on what you are wearing. That is why dressing appropriately and wearing the right gear is crucial. If you can, invest in good-quality sneakers, high-impact bras, and comfortable workout outfits.
The various activities you do after a workout significantly affect your body. Post-workout routine helps make sure the body recovers properly, so make sure to plan your after the workout routine wisely. The following are some activities to be a part of your fitness routine.
Stretch and Cool Down
After exercising, the first thing you must do is stretch and cool down. Performing this activity will make your heart rate slow down, and your temperature goes back to normal. Stretching also helps in preventing cramps and injuries, improved recovery, as well as tones your muscles.
Post-workout stretches should be deliberate and target the muscles used in your workout routine. First, stretch and hold that position for 20-30 seconds. Then, take your time when stretching for maximum relaxation. After that, don’t forget to breathe for a couple of minutes.
Refuel and Rehydrate
A post-workout meal is essential for multiple reasons. After exercising, the food you eat can help increase the size and quality of your muscles, repair the damaged muscles and tissues, and replenish your glycogen stores.
The food you’re going to consume should be rich in protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. This includes pasta, sweet potatoes, rice cakes, salmon, tuna, chicken, nuts, avocados, and many more. Never forget to rehydrate as well because you’re sweating when working out. You need to replenish the water lost in your cells, so drink a few ounces of water.
Log Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress will let you know whether your workout routine gives the results you wanted to not. You can identify the best course of action you can take by looking back at your recorder progress this week and all the subsequent weeks before that. Then, adjust your routine based on what’s best for you, and you can constantly challenge yourself.
Take a Cool Shower
A good cold shower can do you wonders, especially if you are working out under the hot sun. Cold showers help the body recover properly by reducing inflammation, heal sore muscles, normalize the body temperature, cleans the dirt and sweat, and give your skin a healthy glow. Of course, if your body can take it, you can always add a few ice cubes to your water bath.
The Bottom Line
Upon seeing the results of your workout routine, most of the credit goes to the time you spent sweating out in the gym – but it shouldn’t. What you do inside the gym is vital in achieving your goal, but your pre-and post-workout routine is also crucial.
Your pre-and post-workout rituals allow you to crush every exercise, fuel your efforts and help your body recover properly. What you do before and after you workout heavily affects the state of your body. That is why you need to plan and be wise on your pre-and post-workout ritual to maximize the result of your fitness routine.