If you want to excel in your fitness goals, you need to focus on the pre and post-workout times as much as you focus on the workout session itself.
So, let’s explore some practical tips to help you optimize these crucial times and ensure you extract maximum benefit from each minute spent in and around your training sessions.
Here’s what you need to do before starting your workout session:
1. Prioritize Fueling Your Body
Your body needs energy to maximize performance during a workout. Therefore, you should ensure you eat a light and nutritious meal or snack one to two hours before you exercise.
Choose something that is high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat. For example, a banana with peanut butter is a good choice.
2. Hydrate Wisely
Stay one step ahead of dehydration by drinking water throughout the day. Also, make sure you drink the right amount of water before your workout session. The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking between seventeen and twenty ounces of water two hours before you start working out.
3. Plan Your Workout Session
You can save precious workout time and be more focused by having an action plan prepared beforehand. That could include knowing which exercises you’ll perform and in which order, what weights you’ll use, and how many reps you’re aiming for. By planning ahead, there’s no room for indecisiveness during training – only focused effort.
4. Warm-Up Properly
Make sure you warm up your body prior to any intense exercise. You can do that by performing light cardio like jogging or cycling for five to ten minutes. Following this, some dynamic stretching exercises targeting the major muscle groups should help to prepare you for your workout session.
5. Maintain A Positive Mindset
Mental preparation is just as critical as physical readiness. So, try to clear your mind of external stresses before your workout. If you’re in a positive mindset, focusing on the tasks at hand will be much easier.
Here’s what you need to do after your workout session is done:
1. Stretch Out
Never neglect the importance of stretching after a workout. It helps to reduce muscle stiffness and soreness while increasing flexibility.
A cool-down phase involving slow and sustained stretches allows you some time to calm down while nurturing your mobility.
2. Hydrate And Replenish Electrolytes
You should also focus on rehydration following a strenuous workout session.
Remember to replenish electrolytes as well as lost fluids. Electrolytes are crucial for proper body functioning. They can be quickly replenished by drinking a sports drink.
3. Take Supplements After You Work Out
You might also like to consider taking a supplement for post-workout recovery.
For muscle recovery, supplements like magnesium, protein, creatine, omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, BCAAs, ashwagandha, tart cherry juice extract, and turmeric can be very helpful.
Supplements that contain L-carnitine, L-leucine, L-glutamine, or Whey Protein Isolate can be beneficial, too.
You could also try a supplement like ORCA recovery, which is a product that combines THC, L-Theanine, Riboflavin, Magnesium, and Manganese, which harmoniously work together to aid your post-workout recovery regime.
When you take the best post-workout supplements for your individual needs, you can enhance muscle repair, reduce inflammation, and increase relaxation after your workout. In turn, you can be better prepared for your next session.
4. Eat Protein-Rich Foods
After completing your workout, kickstart the recovery process by consuming protein-rich foods. Protein aids in muscle repair and growth, so it’s an essential part of your post-exercise nutrition.
Lean meats, eggs, or a protein shake could be ideal post-workout.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep allows your body the time to repair and regenerate on a cellular level.
Ensuring adequate sleep means that your body can make the most of the recovery process, providing you with rejuvenated energy levels and improved athletic performance next time around.
6. Journal Your Progress
Lastly, to keep improving, consider tracking your progress in a fitness journal. Document the specifics of your workouts and note down how you felt before, during, and after the session. Include your dietary habits, too.
This approach allows you to monitor your progression, set new targets, and celebrate milestones along the way. In turn, journaling can bring motivation and momentum to your post-workout routine.