Pre-Workout Rituals For Better Fitness
When it comes to pre-workout routines, many of us fail to look any further than a go-to playlist and a shaker bottle full of caffeine on the way to the gym.
While I am CERTAINLY not here to deny the efficacy of either of these things, there is more to maximizing the benefits of exercise than a head rush and heavy metal playlist.
In this article, we are going to touch on a few adjustments you can make to your workout routine that will allow you to remain injury free and reap added benefits from those hard-fought gym sessions!
The Right Food
Food is fuel, and nutrition is key in boosting your performance, recovery, and overall fitness progression. A proper meal about 90 to 120 minutes before your workout is very important and should consist of a complex carbohydrate such as oats, or rice. These carbs are glycolytic, which means they will get burned off during your workout. Protein is good to eat before a workout as well.
Here are some pre-workout meal ideas:
Whole grain toast + nut butter and banana
Chicken with rice and veggies
Whole oatmeal with berries
Eggs with veggies and avocado
Smoothies with protein powder – a great on the go option.
Prime The Engine
Time is of the essence when it comes to the hectic schedules most of us have to manage. It can be hard enough finding the time to complete a workout, much less devoting even more of it to warming up.
However, one of the most sure-fire ways to get yourself injured and stall your progress in the gym is neglecting to let your body prepare for exercise. Fortunately, warming up doesn’t have to entail another workout in itself. Anything that elevates the heart rate and causes you to sweat will do the trick.
This can involve 10-15 minutes on an exercise bike, a quick jump rope session or even walking to the gym if you live nearby. By slowly ramping up your movement prior to an intense workout, you allow the joints to become lubricated and muscle tissue to increase its oxygen and nutrient uptake.
This results in a significant decrease in injury risk, as well as better performance pertaining to the actual workout.
Don’t Neglect The Clear Liquid
Knocking out a dose of your favorite neon-colored pre-workout cocktail before the gym followed by a heaping scoop of protein powder afterwards is often as habitual as the gym itself. If this sounds like your jam, by all means keep it up.
During the rest of the day, be mindful of your overall water intake. We don’t have to get into all the benefits that adequate hydration provides to your life as a whole, however, consuming enough water is an absolute must if you intend to walk into the gym at your best.
Proper hydration serves to further lubricate your joints for movement, regulate body temperature and allow the body to transport vital nutrients to where you need them most. Get into the habit of keeping a bottle or shaker full of water on hand at all times. As with all things, the easier it is to access your source of hydration, the more likely you are to utilize it.
Create A Blueprint
One of the biggest pitfalls many people make pertaining to working out is walking into the gym without the slightest clue of what they’ll be doing that particular day.
The locker room is not the place to decide what body parts are going to be trained or exercises will be performed. In order to be efficient with your time and experience consistent progress toward your fitness goals, it is necessary to have a detailed outline of what your workout routine looks like each day. To be honest, the actual effectiveness of your workout program isn’t nearly as important as the organization.
The best exercise routine is the one that you will consistently perform for the duration. Instead of walking into the gym and hopping on the first open machine or bench you encounter, stick to a workout template that precisely describes the contents of your workout for several weeks to come.
If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there!