We’ve told you before which foods you should eat after a workout so you avoid spoiling your achievements, and we’ve checked out some tips on how to burn more calories with each session. Today, we take one step further, discovering the best way to have a truly successful workout with a guide on what to do before, during and after exercising.

 

What to do before exercising

So you’ll be performing a workout routine soon: walking, running, dancing…; no matter what kind of exercise you’ll be doing, it’s vital to prepare yourself properly so you can feel the effects of your workout without causing any damage to your body. Here’s what you should do before exercising:

  • Eat properly: exercising on an empty stomach makes your body use the little energy you have stored first and then turn to your muscles. Therefore, not only you won’t be able to perform your best, but you’ll also lose strength and affect your muscles and bones. An hour before your workout, make sure you have a nourishing meal which includes carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Fruits, yogurt, sweet potatoes, oatmeal and protein shakes are great options.
  • Warm up: if you begin your workout with a cold body, then there’s a high chance you pull a muscle or worse. Before your workout, take 10 to 15 minutes for stretching your arms, legs and giving your body a boost with some cardio exercise.
  • Drink water: for a successful workout, it’s essential that your body is properly hydrated, since as you begin sweating you’ll start losing a lot of water. Half an hour before your workout, make sure you have a tall glass of water and consume enough fruits and vegetables.
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    What to do during your workout

    So you’ve stretched and hydrated adequately. How to have a successful workout that doesn’t affect your body negatively? Here’s what you should do during your workout:

    • Change your routine: repeating the same types of exercises every day can increase the risk of injuries, as well as diminishing the effect of your routine. Mix it up by changing the order or introducing a variation.
    • Vary speed: not only is it important to change the exercises you perform, but it’s also vital to change the speed in which you repeat them. Fast repetitions are great for building strength, but slow repetitions are proper for gaining muscle mass. Mix both speeds for a successful training session.
    • Don’t ignore signs: if you’re feeling pain in a muscle or bone, or if you’re feeling dizzy and nauseous, then stop your workout and take the time to rest. If after a few minutes you feel considerably better, then resume your exercises, but if not, stop for the rest of the day in order to avoid injuries.
    • Don’t consume too much water: hydration is important, but consuming too much water during your workout could be dangerous, since it can cause cramps, dizziness, nausea, etc. Have a sip every 15 to 20 minutes instead.

     

    What to do after exercising

    You’re done! But now that you’ve finished your workout, it’s important to restitute your body to its normal state so your routine has the desired effects. Here’s what you should do after exercising:

    • Cool down: after a workout, your heart is pumping and your body is alert. Help it relax by doing a few minutes of light cardio and stretches.
    • Drink water: since you’ve probably lost a lot of water, replenish your body by drinking 2 or 3 glasses of water during the next two hours.
    • Eat: although it might sound counterproductive, it’s actually very important to replace the good carbs and minerals you lost while exercising. An hour after your routine, take the time to sit down and enjoy a nourishing meal with carbs and a small amount of protein.
    • Shower: not only is it important to get rid of the dirt on your skin, but it’s also great for helping your body cool down as well as relaxing your muscles. Take a shower and alternate the water between cold and hot to stimulate blood flow.

     

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    Sources:
    Exos. 5 things to do after every workout. http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/recovery/5-things-to-do-after-every-workout.html
    Her Campus. 5 things you need to do before a workout. http://www.hercampus.com/health/fitness/5-things-you-need-do-workout
    Muscle & Fitness. 25 ways to improve your workout. http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-tips/25-ways-improve-your-workout
    Livestrong.com. 4 things you should do before every workout. http://www.livestrong.com/article/557765-4-things-you-should-do-before-every-workout/
    PopSugar. 5 to-dos before your next workout. http://www.fitsugar.com/Tips-What-Do-Before-Workout-19422010#photo-19422018 / 5 things you should never do during a workout. http://www.fitsugar.com/What-Do-During-Workout-22333397
    SparkPeople. What to do after a workout. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=117