8 Pre-Workout Habits for Your Fitness RoutineArticle posted in: Fitness
Do you ever have those days when you wake up and just cannot fathom working out? Those days when just the mere act of getting on sneakers and fitness gear seems taxing? Although everyone has those groggy days where doing a workout seems like the least enjoyable activity, bet on yourself by properly preparing in the best ways possible! Get the most out of the exercises awaiting you by adding some healthy habits to your pre-workout routine. We’ve rounded up a list of eight easy things you can do before exercising that will improve your experience and make it the most effective.
Upgrade your pre-workout routine with these eight healthy habits:
1. Rest Up
Sleep is pretty much the opposite of exercise. However, both are extremely important for proper health. Many people do not realize just how imperative good, quality rest really is. If you don’t get adequate sleep the night before your gym session, your workout is sure to suffer the consequences. “During high-quality sleep, your body restores many functions it calls on during daily life, such as temperature regulation, a strong immune system, steady hormone levels, and good appetite. All of these factors play a role in how much energy you have,” says The National Sleep Foundation.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sleep is vital in the “healing and repair” of the heart and blood vessels. Sleep can also help you to maintain a healthy body weight, as it balances the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. During sleep, the body also “produces higher levels of human growth hormone, which promotes cellular renewal,” says Self.com. You cannot expect to have an effective workout without your body recuperating and recovering from the day before.
So, how much sleep do you need? Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should aim for about seven to nine hours of sleep, while those who are 65 and older should get seven to eight hours, says The National Sleep Foundation. To increase your chances of getting a good sleep, make sure to avoid these four things before bed. >
2. Set Up
Before you get moving, plan ahead and try to set up your exercise routine ahead of time. This will help you gauge how much you should eat, what you should wear and how much water you should bring along. Having a plan can also help you save valuable time. Instead of spending five minutes between each exercise trying to figure out your next move, you’ll be more efficient so you can get in and out of the gym without wasting time.
Looking for some quick and easy workouts to add to your fitness routine? Be sure to peruse the Fitness section right here on The Palm Weight Loss Blog! Plan ahead and check out 10 of our favorite workouts below:
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3. Tune Up
Music can turn an excruciating workout into an exciting, exhilarating event. According to research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, obese adolescents ran significantly longer when they were distracted by music and seemed to experience less symptoms of exertion.
The tempo of your tunes is also important: In another study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, a dozen male students listened to a program of six popular tracks (with different tempos) while cycling. When the tempo was fast, overall distance, power and pedal cadence increased. Further, the participants indicated that the songs were more enjoyable when they were fast, suggesting a positive correlation between activity and tempo.
The power of music is real! Create a pre-workout playlist with fast-paced songs that get you pumped up and ready to move. Grab your headphones, turn on your favorite song and get moving!
4. Fuel Up
If there’s no food, there’s no fuel. Food is your body’s energy. According to Mayo Clinic, “Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling sluggish. Eating too little might not give you the energy you need to keep feeling strong throughout your workout.” They recommend eating a small meal or snack about one to three hours before your workout. However, you should always listen to your body and do what works best for you.
5. Gear Up
While most people probably have set fitness attire, it is important to consider the value certain clothing choices add to a workout. “There’s nothing worse than arriving at the gym or setting out the door only to discover you’re actually a little (or a lot) uncomfortable,” says Self.com. Preparing for your workout and knowing what it will entail—whether it’s running, walking, HIIT, spin, hiking—should determine your clothing and footwear choices. Select items that will heighten your performance. Choosing everything from the proper sneakers to the optimum sports bra option become key factors to ensuring you have a good workout! Make sure to also pack your headphones, fitness tracker, a spare headband or hair tie, weightlifting gloves and any other gear that makes your workout easier.
6. Get Pumped Up
Instead of dreading your exercise routine, consider taking a few steps to increase your motivation and make things fun. Setting a goal is a surefire way to fuel your workout. Whether you want to run further than yesterday or increase the weight you’re lifting, having something to work towards can definitely help you get motivated. If you a have a friend who also likes to exercise, ask them to join you. Workout buddies can increase your motivation and ensure you show up ready to go.
Look up new exercises to keep things interesting. Create a fun exercise playlist that pumps you up and gets you excited. Invest in some new workout shoes or fitness gear. There are plenty of ways to increase your pre-workout motivation. Here are five tricks to get moving when you really don’t want too. >
7. Drink Up
We’ve all heard this one plenty of times: stay hydrated! But why? Well, according to Self.com, our body’s cells are unable to “synthesize energy” without water. In other words, in order to get through a rigorous workout, water is essential for your body to convert food into usable fuel. Furthermore, when your body is low on fluid, it is harder for your heart to pump blood. Ultimately, dehydration makes your cardiovascular system work even harder, creating a higher heart rate, than it should be.
According to the American Council on Exercise, “going into a workout dehydrated decreases your time to exhaustion and inhibits performance. As the percent of water loss increases, the severity of symptoms increases and time to exhaustion decreases. Water is necessary for a number of bodily functions, including thermoregulation.” So, make the most out of your exercise by staying properly hydrated pre-workout! Click here for some helpful tips to boost your hydration >
8. Warm Up
Before you hop into your workout, don’t overlook the importance of warming up. It’s so easy to just skip this vital step and dive full throttle into your planned exercise. Skipping a warm up, however, can be detrimental. Warming up prepares your body for exercise and helps with proper form and posture, says Self.com. This ultimately helps to prevent injury. With your body prepped and warmed for a larger range of motion, you are almost guaranteeing that you’ll be getting the most out of each movement.
According to Women’s Health Magazine, “A proper warm up also prepares your nervous system and muscles to perform optimally in your workout.” Healthline explains that a pre-workout warm up can increase flexibility, blood flow and range of motion, while decreasing the risk of injury, muscle tension and pain. Add a warm up to your pre-workout routine for all of these amazing benefits.
*Always speak with a doctor before starting an exercise routine.