Are you a morning person? Do you love nothing more than starting your day with a brisk run or sweat sesh at the gym? Or perhaps night-time workouts fit better into your busy schedule. Whether you workout in the morning, night or even afternoon, there are certain things you can do to help prepare for your workout. These small changes will give you more energy, sustainability and ensure that you get the most out of every workout. You may already be doing some of them but others may surprise you. Check it out!
Your body needs fuel in order to function properly. Without a high-protein meal and some hydration before your workout, you’re sure to run out of steam. Your muscles will tire more easily, you may feel lightheaded and fatigued or simply unmotivated. A great pre-workout meal includes healthy carbohydrates. These include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads or cereals. Your body will use these carbs for energy and fuel your body and burn fat throughout your workout. You also need to hydrate prior to hitting the gym. Try consuming your pre-workout meal between 60 and 90 minutes before you plan to workout. This gives your body ample time to digest the meal and avoid cramping or other discomfort during exercise. If you’re looking for an extra boost, try adding a pre-workout supplement to your regime.
Your muscles need time to stretch and warm up before any type of exercise. Failing to do so can result in pulled muscles and injury. Regardless of the type of workout out plan, it’s important to perform a short warm up prior to starting. A well-rounded warm up includes light cardio and basic stretching. Cardio can include things like jumping jacks, high knees, butt kickers, or jogging in place. You should stretch your entire body regardless of the planned workout but place special focus on the areas you’ll be working. For instance, if it’s leg day, be sure to perform some static stretches including lunges, and stretching your hamstrings and quads. If you’re focusing on lifting, stretch your shoulders and neck.
Lay Out Your Workout Clothes
Sometimes, motivation is the only thing lacking from your pre-workout routine. If you’re having a hard time getting started, try laying your clothes out the night before. Or, if you workout at night, have your gear set-up and waiting for you when you arrive home. Mentally preparing for your workout is almost as important as the physical warm up. It’s important that you have the right mindset to push through those tough parts of any workout regime. When you see your workout clothes lying there, it will inspire you throw them on and get moving. Other ways to motivate include creating a workout playlist, think about how great you’ll feel after it’s done, and remind yourself of all the positive ways exercise benefits your body and life.
Create a Calendar
Having a plan and direction is another important part of the pre-workout routine. Simply showing up at the gym with no real focus could result you simply wandering around and not taking full advantage of your time. A great way to take advantage of every workout is to follow a plan or calendar. This will help you target all of the areas you’re looking to work and do so in the appropriate order that is safe and healthy for your body.
It’s important to switch up your workouts as well so that your muscles have time to rest and recover. This also helps you avoid hitting a plateau. Try downloading a workout calendar online or signing up for countless workout programs that provide a specific calendar for your to follow. This works best for people who are unsure of how to properly work all their muscles with rest days in between.
You can also invest in a personal trainer. This way, you don’t need to put too much thought into what you’re going to do each day. Let your trainer guide you. They can also let you know what your focus will be for your next workout. This can help you prepare mentally.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
It makes perfect sense that if you’re too tired to workout, you’re either not going to do it at all or your workout will fall short of your expectations. Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. If you plan to workout in the morning, make sure you get to bed at a reasonable hour. Also, set your alarm for a time that works best for you. You don’t want to rush through your workout and ideally, you’ll want to have enough time to properly wake up, have your pre-workout meal, and even some coffee if it suits you.
If you’re someone who enjoys working out at night after work, you’ll need to sustain your energy throughout the day. This starts with a good night’s sleep. This will ensure that you don’t burn out during the day and lose the desire to workout by day’s end. The average person should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Although this isn’t always possible, you can focus on your quality of sleep over quantity.
Create a bedtime routine. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. Avoid stimulating activities before bed including too much time spent on tablets, your cell phone or watching television. Avoid drinking alcohol or consuming heavy, fattening meals prior to sleep. These will disrupt your sleep patterns and could lead to discomfort in the morning.
What you do before and after your workouts is almost as important as what happens during your workout. If you lack the motivation to get started, your workout may never happen. And if you don’t rest and fuel your body properly beforehand, you won’t see the results you’re hoping for. Try these tips to get your body and mind in the right place before your next workout.
Article Submitted By Community Writer