Beginner’s Guide: How To Prepare For A Workout
How you prepare for a workout makes more of an impact on your results than the workout itself!
Many people overlook warming up before exercise. It is widely believed that as long as the workout gets done, you will be able to achieve results.
While it is true that the workout itself burns calories and strengthens your muscles, if your body is not properly prepared for the workout, you will be missing out on energy and performance.
This will limit your results!
To ensure you are performing at your peak throughout the entirety of your workout, follow these tips to properly ready your body for strenuous activities.
First, make sure that you eat a healthy meal before working out. What you eat depends on the amount of time you have until your workout. This guarantees your body has enough time to digest the food and use the energy for exercise.
If you are exercising within the next hour, try to have a light snack such as Greek yogurt or a piece of fruit.
These are foods that contain simple carbohydrates will digest quickly and provide glycogen for your muscles to use during exercise. Avoid eating heavy meals or foods that are high in fat because they will make you feel sluggish.
Here are more snacks with simple carbohydrates:
- Sweet potatoes
- White bread
On the other hand, if you have a few hours before your workout, consume a more complete meal that is high in fiber and has some protein. This includes whole-grain bread or cereal along with peanut butter.
Complex carbohydrates like these will provide more long-term energy, and keep you satiated for longer.
Nourishing your body will ensure that you have enough energy for your workout without feeling weighed down.
Stay Consistently Hydrated
Water is the most vital resource your body needs to function, as it is used in almost every process in the body.
When you exercise, your metabolic processes are supercharged, running at extreme levels to keep up with the energy consumption demands. As a result, you experience an increase in body temperature, and sweat to counteract that increase.
After workout, your body is still at an elevated state of function for a few hours before it returns to its original state, known as homeostasis.
Therefore, it is not enough to drink water for only the duration of your workout session.
Research shows you should aim to drink between 64-128oz of water every day depending on your weight. To make this manageable, drink a full water bottle with every meal.
Drinking water consistently with your meals in the morning, afternoon, and evening will ensure that you are appropriately hydrated when its time for exercise.
Perform a Dynamic Warm-up
If you struggle with muscle soreness, or lack of mobility, you could benefit from performing dynamic stretching exercises right before your workout.
Not only will this help you feel more prepared for your workout, but it can also help reduce the risk of injury.
The key idea to note is that you should be performing dynamic stretches, not static.
Dynamic stretches actively move joints and muscles using the same motions as exercises.
They mimic the movement of the activity you’re about to start, so that your muscles become warmed up and receive more blood circulation. Increasing the muscle temperature reduces the resistance and increases the flexibility.
Static stretching involves moving a joint as far as possible, statically, for a length of time. Static stretches relax the muscles, which make them more suitable for post-workout.
Here are a few dynamic stretches that you can perform before your next workout:
- Arm circles: Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended out to the sides at shoulder level. Make small circles with your arms for 30 seconds in one direction, and then switch directions and make small circles for 30 seconds.
- High knees: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and bring your right knee up towards your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds.
- Butt kickers: Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your upper body still, bring your right heel up towards your butt and return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg and continue alternating legs for 30 seconds.
- Calf Raises: Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Rise up onto the balls of your feet and hold for two seconds before lowering back down to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
Peak Performance, Revolutionary Results
As you progress in your fitness journey, you’ll experience an increased tolerance to the workouts you perform. Your muscles will become stronger, and your cardiovascular system will have better stamina.
Regardless of this, if you do not warm-up your body before exercise, it will not be able to execute at its best, which will limit your results.
Be sure that you are correctly nourished, hydrated, and warmed-up so you can perform at your peak, prevent injuries, and even speed up your recovery.