We all workout for different reasons with a specific end result in mind. Whether your goal is toning and definition, weight loss, health or all of the above, your pre-workout routine is crucial. When you don’t focus on the before part and make your pre-workout apart of your workout focus, it can lead to major injury and stop you from reaching your muscle strength and weight loss goals. If you want to get the most out of your workout routine, make sure you’re doing these five things before every workout. Start doing these things, and watch amazing results follow. Warm-Up
According to the National Sports Medicine Institute, warming up is a great practice before every workout. It prepares the body for exercise by increasing your heart rate and circulation. Stretching the muscles prepares your body for physical activity and prevents injuries. The warm-up period is also a good opportunity for an individual to prepare themselves mentally for the game ahead (nsmi.org.uk). In addition, warming up helps prevent injury during your exercise. The warm-up helps keep the muscles warm which will help prevent acute injuries. Drink Lots of Water
Make sure you’re drinking enough water before each workout. Drinking water not only is good for your system, it can lead to a better workout experts say. Our bodies are approximately 70 percent water, so it’s imperative that we replace the water we’re losing before each workout. If we don’t, it can lead to dehydration which causes tiredness and dizziness. You can even end up with nausea and with chills. Water also provides us with energy due to the fact that it transfers oxygen and glucose throughout the body. If you care about your muscles, water is a key factor because it aids in our ability to be strong and flexible. If our joints don’t have water, our body can get stiff which can lead to injury. Eat
You should eat before every workout for fuel. Dr. Nancy Cohen, head of the department of nutrition at the University of Massachusetts says that whether we’re trying to shed pounds or build muscle, we should be eating a meal high in carbohydrates and protein, and low in fat roughly three hours before we exercise so that we are provided with adequate energy for our workout.
“Carbohydrates supply your body with the glycogen it needs for your yoga session, gym visit, or jog. Skimp on carbs, and your muscles will sputter when called on to perform,” Dr. Cohen says.
However, you should make sure you’re putting the right things in your system depending on where you are nutritionally and what results you’re trying to achieve. If you’re goal is weight loss, it probably feels counterproductive to eat a lot of carbs before you go to the gym. But remember, we’re not talking about refined carbs like white bread, cookies and processed foods. We’re talking about complex carbs like the beans, lentils and whole-grains that fill you up and are loaded with nutrients and fiber.
Keep a Workout Tracker
Keeping a workout itinerary isn’t just good for the people who have a weight loss goal in mind, but for everyone who is training. Tracking your reps, sets, weights and rest periods allows you to see your expectations in written form, keeps you accountable, and allows your workout to be more efficient. According to coach and fitness expert, Becca Borawski, logging your workout eliminates the confusion.
“If you are doing a strength program and progressively increasing the weights, it helps to know what weights you've previously done. If you guess every week in your confused state, as you acknowledged yourself, you'll probably guess wrong and proceed in a haphazard way. Getting stronger requires consistent and gradual increases. A journal is a great way to fool-proof your progress,” says Borawski.
While this can be high tech (there are a number of great fitness and tracking apps), it can be as simple as a pen and a pad of paper to log your entries.
While pre-workout supplements aren’t vital, they can provide you with an energy boost and aid in your ability to focus during your workout. According to fitness experts, creatine, glutamine and protein are three of the top supplements for gaining lean muscle and strength. In addition, most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine and amino acids that help increase blood flow. These should generally be taken 30-45 minutes before you begin training in order to see the best results.
No matter what your goals are related to working out, consider making these five things apart of your daily practice if you aren’t already. If you’re doing these five things, success is in your favor.