I don’t know about you, but when I work out, I don’t just jump in and do the exercise. It is important for me to prepare my mind, body, and things. I am quite sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. While many people jump into their workout once they get to the gym, there are also others who have pre-workout routines. The pre-workout routine helps ease the mind and body into exercise mode. If you have a hard time following through with your exercise plan, then maybe you should consider creating your own pre-workout routine. Here are eight activities that you might want to include in your routine.
1. Plan Your Workout
Before you do anything, you should plan your workout. This is important so you don’t overwork your body and muscles. If you are strength training, you might want to work different muscle groups on alternating days. If you run or walk, you might want to plan out your distance or duration. If you are into sports, you might think of working on your technique or doing strengthening workouts.
2. Mental Preparation
Exercise does not only involve physical preparation. It is also involves mental power and preparation. Before your daily workout, you should prepare your mind to deal with the challenges – mental, physical, and emotional – that you might encounter.
3. Clothing and Gear Preparation
Make sure that you have everything you need to make your workout experience as hassle-free as possible. You should have the right apparel for your chosen exercise. If you use gadgets such as sports and GPS watches, heart monitors, and mp3 players, then check to make sure that they are in good working condition and that the batteries are charged. If you use accessories and exercise equipment, make sure they are clean and ready to be used. Prepare the exercise clothes and gear hours before your workout to prevent delays.
4. Check Your Hygiene
Save everyone you encounter during your workout the horror of smelling your body odor. If you haven’t bathed for the day, take a quick shower before changing into your workout clothes. You don’t want the previous day’s grime and odor to mix with the sweat and smell of exercise. Don’t forget to apply deodorant to manage body odor. Make sure your clothes and gear are clean and dry.
5. Warming up
It is important to warm up before doing strenuous physical activity to prevent injury. When you warm up, you increase the total body and muscle temperature, as well as prepare the body’s different systems for your workout. Warming up can be done by brisk walking, slow jogging, or performing choreographed aerobics, as well as with the help of thick clothes and massages with sports rubs.
Remember that you should only stretch once you have warmed up you body. If you stretch cold muscles, they are more prone to tears and strains, leading to injury. When done correctly, stretching can lead to increased flexibility, greater range of motion, and can also prevent soreness. There are many types of stretches so try to see what works best with your type of physical activity.
7. Pre-workout Fueling
It is important that you eat well even on days when you don’t exercise. If you feel like you need an energy boost thirty to sixty minutes before your actual workout, then eat a light snack consisting of easy to digest, high energy food. Not all types of food work well for everyone so observe how your body reacts to what you eat. Stick to what works and disregard what does not.
Hydration should not be done just minutes before exercise. You should be hydrating throughout the day. Proper hydration is crucial in keeping your body and mind working at their best. Being hydrated keeps your hunger at bay and helps keep your mind sharp. When you are properly hydrated, your temperature and blood pressure will be regulated. As for replacing electrolytes, you can drink a sports drink that contains carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium. You can also make your own drink using sugar, salt, and some lemon juice.
You don’t really have to do all these activities to get into the mood for a workout. However, in my experience, it can really help if your mind and body gets a signal that you are about to exercise. These pre-workout activities not only help you transition into workout mode, but they also help make the actual workout fun, comfortable, and injury-free.
Top Photo Credit: _RyanL