What to do before and after your workout19 Feb
Start and end your workout on a high with these tips!
As important as it is to give it your all while working out, what you do before and after you start training is equally important. A good pre-workout routine will ensure you have the energy to push yourself further, and how you treat your body in the time after your workout can have a direct impact on how you feel!
Jane, our Gym & Fitness Lead at Northgate Arena, kindly put together a few tips on how to make the most of this time!
Drink a glass of water at least an hour or two before you start exercising. This will be enough to help start replenishing fluids lost during your workout. Be careful not to overdo it though, you don’t want end up feeling bloated (or needing to stop to use the toilet!).
Time for a pre-workout snack! Don’t just grab anything though, a small, balanced snack should provide you with what you need to get the most out of your workout. Good examples include a small bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, or apple wedges with almond butter which will help you avoid a sugar crash mid-workout, and they’re packed with minerals and antioxidants too!
Spend a few minutes stretching out your muscles, to ensure you’re feeling flexible and less rigid for your workout. Don’t push yourself hard, but just spend a bit of time focusing on your legs and torso, with a few light stretches for your back, sides and shoulders too.
Whether you’ve just done a weights workout, gone for a run, or finished a Body Combat class, a few minutes of light cardio won’t hurt! Walking on a treadmill for a few minutes, or even the walk home or to your car will help you cool and down and avoid feeling sick after a workout. If you’ve just done a treadmill workout and fancy something a bit different then try a rowing machine, or an exercise bike with low RPM for 2 – 3 minutes.
Stretch those major muscle groups! That means legs, back, torso, shoulders and anywhere else you can think of. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to help prevent your muscles from shrinking, and help them grow even bigger! It’s also a great way to relax your muscles and leave you feeling pretty amazing after a tough workout.
Drink 2 or 3 cups of water within two hours of finishing your workout to help replenish your fluid levels. The water you drunk earlier will have helped, but you’ll still need some more to avoid getting dehydrated.
Time for another small snack! This time you’ll need the fuel to help repair your muscles and boost your energy levels. A jacket potato with tuna, or some lemon chicken with brown rice are great examples of healthy ways to refuel after your workout. If you use protein shakes, then now’s the time to have that too!
And that’s it! As you can see, your pre and post workout routines can actually be quite similar. Stick to this though and you’ll be feeling far when you’ve finished exercising.
Do you have any favourite pre/post workout foods, or cool down routines? Share them in the comments below, we’d love to hear them.