Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds, improve your stamina or relieve stress, getting the most out of your workout makes a huge difference.
It doesn’t matter what the reason is! We all want to maximize our time in the gym or during a home workout. To ensure your workout is effective and help you achieve your goals, we’re here to share what to do before exercise and what to do after workouts for the best results.
Getting yourself motivated for the gym is everything. So, here’s what to do before and after a workout.
How to prepare for a workout: Morning routine
Many of us know that a decent breakfast can set us up for the day ahead! Foods such as oats are among the healthiest grains around, plus they’re great for keeping you feeling full – so you can resist the urge to snack.
If you’re looking to lose weight and get fit, oats can help to lower your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
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Pre workout routine
It’s time to fuel your body.
Some of us prefer not to eat before a workout. Let’s face it, a heavy meal is not going to go down well when you head out for exercise too soon after. However, your body needs fuel from somewhere!
Whether you’ve gotta keep up your food intake due to health conditions, or your body simply seeks fuel from food – energy in equals energy during your workout.
But before you go scoffing a burger and fries, it’s important to pay attention to the type of food you’re eating in your pre workout routine. We’re seeking energy and protein – not a quick fix of processed snacks.
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Try a pre-workout
Hydration and fuel are super important in your pre workout routine. Not only is keeping your body hydrated crucial for avoiding muscle cramps or becoming lightheaded, but it also helps regulate your body temperature. So you’ll be ready to get sweaty!
There are plenty of pre-workouts around, but we’d always recommend BlackWolf. Not only is it available in three delicious fruity flavors (taste is important!), but its proven ingredients deliver just the right dose each time – boosting your energy levels and focus.
Also Read: Do deadlifts increase testosterone levels?
A pre workout routine that includes a drink such as BlackWolf can help you to exceed in the gym, with no jitters or horrid come down.
How to prepare for a workout: Get organized
When you head into the gym without a plan, you’re more than likely going to spend longer on your phone than you are working out. Heading in without a strategy is like running into the battlefield without planning ahead!
Whether you’ve got a workout app you frequently use or a trusty diary and pen, plan out your routine beforehand. When you get there raring to go, you’ll know exactly where to head and how many reps and sets to complete.
You’ll quickly find you spend less time staring into space, reaching your goals far quicker since you’ve got your roadmap to get there!
What to do before exercise: Warm up!
No matter how much exercise you’re planning on doing, warming up your body is super important as part of your pre workout routine.
You may feel as though you’re ready to jump into a workout, but your muscles definitely need some preparation. The purpose of a warm up is to prepare your body before you exercise, stretching your muscles and upping your body temperature ahead of a serious sweat session!
Plus, giving your muscles some time to prepare will help reduce the chance of injury or strain during your workout. Whether it’s a bunch of jumping jacks or a brisk walk on the treadmill, get those muscles moving before going head first into your workout!
Get plenty of rest
Now, we all know that sleep is important for our bodies. Sleep allows your body and mind to recharge, helps to keep your hunger hormones balanced and leaves you ready to tackle the day ahead.
If you frequently have disturbed sleep, you’ll quickly notice your cravings for junk food can increase when you’re feeling grouchy and low on fuel.
Without enough sleep, we not only lose concentration, but also feel fatigued and pretty damn irritable! Getting plenty of quality rest not only boosts your energy in the gym, but also helps your body to repair and recover after a workout. Plenty of rest is just as important before a workout as it is afterwards.
What to do after workouts
Since we’ve covered what to do before a workout and how to prepare for a workout, it’s time to talk about what do after your workouts, too.
Downtime after your workout is just as important as preparing your body before exercise!
While your heart is pumping and your legs are aching from a load of cardio, it’s time to bring your body back to its pre-workout state. Stretching your muscles after your workout will help you to stay limber and avoid injury, helping you avoid those aches and pains.
As your muscles begin to cool down, they naturally contract. Stretching at this point will help lower the risk of feeling sore after your sweat sesh and speed up the recovery process.
This is your prime opportunity to bring your heart rate back down, get yourself some water and begin to cool your body down! Then it’s on to relax and get some rest.
Time to refuel
During exercise, we can get pretty sweaty. It’s time to put this water back into your body and avoid getting dehydrated. Where possible, we always recommend taking a reusable bottle to the gym, so you can stay hydrated throughout your workout.
Also Read: How to beat the Dad bod without weights
While it may be tempting to grab a soda or energy drink on the way out, this sudden spike in sugar will do more harm than good! Not only are there more calories than you first think in these type of drinks, but they’ll not provide your body with the right level of hydration!
Stick with water and give your body what it needs – hydration!
If you’re feeling hungry after a workout, opt for foods that are packed in protein and plenty of fiber, which will help boost your energy levels and aid your body’s recovery.
Grab a cool shower
Now I don’t know about you, but a cool shower does wonders first thing in the morning!
While a refreshing shower can be a part of your pre workout routine, if you’re needing to cool down after a workout – it’s time to jump in!
While standing under chilled water isn’t quite anyone’s idea of fun, a cool shower can make you feel better both mentally and physically – so why not making it a part of your post-workout regime.
Change your clothing
If you’re wondering what to do after workouts, surely this seems obvious, right?
You’d be surprised! Many of us head out of the gym in our sweaty clothing, and when we stay wearing sweaty, soggy clothing, it makes a great place to trap moisture and grow bacteria.
Where possible, grab a shower after your workout (as we mentioned above!) and switch into some fresh clothes.
Track your workout
If you’re wondering what to do after workouts, it’s time to keep track of your achievements!
While creating a plan before you exercise is super important, knowing if you achieved those goals is crucial for challenging yourself each week.
Use an app on your smartphone or make a note in a diary to hit those sets and reps and keep pushing yourself with every workout.
Increase your energy levels and smash your workout
Now you know what to do before and after a workout, are you ready to crush your next exercise session?
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