What comes to your mind when you hear the word, exercise? Gym, yoga, physical fitness, sweat, calories, weight… and many such words or anything that will help us get that ‘perfect figure’ that we all crave for.
You might have your mind focused on achieving your fitness goals but during the process, have you ever focused on what are the dos and don’ts of working out (both before and after the workout)?
Exercise or working out is extremely vital to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Gym sessions and workout routines are much more than that. Working out isn’t the only important part of an exercise routine. What you do before and after is just as important. A perfect exercise routine is the combined effect of hygiene, nutrition, and other pre and post-workout guidelines. To make your fitness program efficient, you should ensure that you follow the right process.
Good health is a combination of healthy choices and the decisions you make before and after a workout. There are a plethora of different myths and legends of what’s good and what’s bad for you when it comes to working out. Although everyone has their own niche, we are here to tell you about all the fitness dos and don’ts.
First, let’s talk about Pre-Workout dos and donts.
Food: If you are thinking of doing exercise for more than an hour, it would be better if you eat 2 hours before exercise. If you workout in the morning, then consume some apples, bananas, or oatmeal. Choose snacks that are a combination of carbs and protein.
Water: It is very important to keep your body hydrated, so drink plenty of water for 30 minutes before working out. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keeps you healthy and sound.
Warm-up: Never forget to do warm-ups before starting the actual exercise. Warming up prepares your muscles so that you don’t end up causing injury to your muscles or cause overstretching.
Sleep: Having a sound sleep a day before the exercise. Being well-rested can energize you through the whole exercise session. It also keeps your hunger hormones in check, so that you don’t undo your efforts of working out by overeating the rest of the day.
Relaxation: Make sure you have a calm mind before you start your workout sessions. Try to invoke a sense of inner peace and relaxation, and make sure to detach yourself from work pressures or unpleasant thoughts. The key to a successful workout session is the combined interaction of mind and body.
Food: Before the workout, do not eat foods that are high in fat levels as they take a longer time to digest and can cause stomach cramps.
Alcohol and soda: Alcohol is a depressant and can be harmful to your system. On the other hand, soda has a high sugar content that will spike your insulin levels, and throw your system off balance.
Pain reliever: Taking pain relievers before exercising can cause exercise-induced small intestinal injury. It can also induce gut barrier dysfunction in healthy individuals.
Now, let’s talk about Post-Workout dos and donts.
Stretch: Do some static stretching to cool down after any workout. This will bring your body back to a resting state.
Water: You lose a lot of water through perspiration when you exercise. To maintain hydration, experts advise drinking water before, during, and after exercise.
Keep track: Always keep track of what and how much you did in every workout. This will help in challenging yourself. It is also a great way to make sure that your overall workout regimen is giving you what you want.
Staying in your sweaty clothes: It is quite normal to sweat a lot after working out. Not changing out of your sweaty clothes after working out can lead to yeast infection and acne.
Pig-out: It is not at all recommended to pig out after working out. You just burned a lot of calories and you wouldn’t want to waste that by eating everything you want, right? Choose a diet that’s healthy and good for you and avoid binging on sweets and fast food.
Going hungry before or after working out lowers your blood sugar level which can lead to you feeling sluggish and tired. Before you leave your house, pack some easily made or available snacks or fruits to take with you. They will keep you energized before, during, and after your workout.
Everything you do impacts your body’s ability to function at its best. So it is important to keep in mind all these dos and don’ts for both pre and post-workout. Always seek professional help when you start working out, and if you have an underlying health condition, have a deep conversation with your doctor.
Note: Keep in mind that any workout if not done properly can lead to diminished results, and worst-case worse, you’ll find yourself nursing an injury.