When it comes to getting in shape, there are a lot of different approaches people take. Some folks prefer the high-intensity, all-out effort approach, while others might enjoy a more leisurely-paced workout routine. No matter what your preference may be, though, there are some general tips that everyone can follow in order to make their workout as effective as possible.
So if you’re looking to get serious about getting fit, read on for the best ways to prepare for an intense workout!
Stay Hydrated by Drinking Water
Water is essential to human health, helping to flush out toxins, regulate temperature, keep joints healthy, and protect sensitive tissues. Without enough water, you will feel tired and run down—not exactly how you want to feel before a workout!
How much water should you drink to stay hydrated? The amount varies depending on your body size, the weather conditions, and how long/intense your workout is. If you feel thirsty, that’s a sign of dehydration; however, you can also check the color of your urine. Pale or clear urine means you’re well-hydrated, while dark yellow urine indicates that you need to drink more water.
Power Your Workout with Proper Nutrition
The food you consume before and after working out is just as important as the workout itself. Eating healthy provides your body with the energy it needs to stay active, rebuild muscle, and improve bone strength. It also helps your body recover from your workout more quickly.
Eat carbs that won’t disturb your stomach before exercising, for example, bananas, oatmeal, or whole-grain bread; for post-workout meals, eat foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Foods high in protein enable the body to construct new muscle tissue, while carbohydrate-rich foods are more suitable after a run or another endurance exercise. Refuel your body with nourishing items like beans, quinoa, or Greek yogurt.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Starting your workout with a warmup and ending it with a cooldown can improve the quality of your physical activity. By raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to the muscles, you can stretch muscle tissue more effectively, reduce muscle tightness and pain, and lower your risk of injury. Although there’s no strict definition for what constitutes a “warmup,” the basic idea is doing an activity or exercise at a slower pace (stretching, using lighter weights) to help prepare the body for more intense movement.
After completing an exercise, it’s best to take a cooldown break for 10 minutes so your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure can go back to normal. Exercises like stretching during this time can help lower your risk of injury and reduce the strain on other muscles in the body.
Stretch for Success
Stretching does more than just prepare your muscles for exercise. By making stretching a part of your routine, you increase flexibility, which then reduces the likelihood of injuries or pain, improves range of motion and posture, and increases body control and stability. In addition to all those benefits, increased flexibility also makes doing everyday activities simpler – from getting out of bed to walking up stairs or grabbing something off a high shelf.
Executing stretches may look elementary—and it is to an extent—but there are still a few best practices you should adhere to in order to steer clear of any potential injuries. Your routine should always begin by warming up your muscles with a short walk. Secondly, as you ease into each stretch, go at a gradual pace and stop immediately if you start feeling any type of discomfort or pain. To start off, aim for 10-20 second intervals per stretch but once you get more comfortable over time, extend that timeframe up to 30 seconds per held position. If you’re new to stretching, consider joining a stretching studio in Dubai or hiring a personal trainer.
Keep it Simple
Though there is much discussion about whether muscles are most receptive to protein right after a workout, we’re not going to get into that. As with all things, the best fitness routine is the simplest one. And what could be more straightforward than always having a shaker of protein powder in your gym bag? Kill your workout, add some water, shake it up real good and enjoy.
Have you ever heard the phrase “those who focus win”? Those who can maintain intense, single-pointed focus and determination are more likely to succeed in their workouts and goals. This is one of the best tools at your disposal. And a great way to sharpen this skill is through meditation. You don’t need to join a monastery or live in the Himalayas; you can start with just 5 minutes in the morning and increase from there.
Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be downright enjoyable when you find the right balance of activities that work for you. And by following these tips, you’ll not only improve your results but also make lasting changes to your overall health and wellness. So what are you waiting for? Get moving!