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12 Best Pre-Workout & Post-Workout Routine – Anyone Can Follow

Workout Routine

Workout Routine - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary

Pre-Workout Routine

  • Map out your workout routine
  • Prioritize your sleep
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat up
  • Ensure you have the proper workout attire
  • Do some warm-up exercises and determine how long to hold a stretch

Post-Workout Routine

  • Always stretch yourself out, find the best time to stretch
  • Make use of a foam roller
  • Rehydrate and refuel
  • Take a cold shower
  • Change out of your damp clothing

Introduction

Most of us who work out tend to have those days where we don’t feel like putting on our workout gear and hitting the gym. Our motivation dips, and we start making other plans during those workout hours instead. And that’s nothing to beat yourself up about. We all have them.

If you’ve been feeling this way more and more recently, here’s some advice. There are a few steps you can take to help boost your motivation and get you up and running again to achieve your workout goals.

An effective workout routine can help you stabilize your workout journey. Your pre-workout routine begins before you’ve even stepped foot in the gym, and the post-workout routine can help boost the benefits you gained from the workout you just finished. Create a workout routine with these in mind, and you will improve the way your body feels and recovers.

Why Is A Workout Routine Important?

Now, you might want to jump straight in. A word of advice – don’t. Here is why – you won’t be able to pull it out every day then. If you’re looking to get fit, look to go slow and develop a workout routine you can stick to.

Pre-Workout Routine

Not having the energy or stamina to do anything is the biggest reason many people skip working out. A good pre-workout routine can help warm up your body and get you energized for the upcoming workout. It will:

  • Ensure you’re properly hydrated
  • Prepare your muscles for the workout through nutrition
  • It is the best time to stretch. Loosen up your joints and ligaments that can reduce the chances of injury
  • Get your blood flowing, thereby improving your performance

Post-Workout Routine

After a tiring workout, our first instinct is to shower and get into some comfortable clothes. However, even though you’ve finished working out, your body is still going through some changes, and a post-workout routine can help with this process. It will:

  • Cool your body down and slow your heart rate so you don’t feel dizzy or faintness afterward
  • Ensure you replenish the nutrition and electrolytes lost during the workout
  • Help your body rest and recover faster for the next workout

Pre-Workout Routine – 6 Steps You Should Incorporate

Starting with your workout is easy, but if you want it to last, you need to have the right pre-workout routine. This involves you doing the proper stretching exercise and planning out your workout in a way that you can regularly.

1. Map Out Your Workout Routine

Map Out Your Workout Routine
Simply going into the gym and doing whatever feels right at the time can bring some level of results, but unless you plan it out, you’re not going to get the best out of it. By carefully planning what your workout routine cycles are for the week and mapping them out for the whole month, you give yourself goals to reach and keep you on track. Keep a record of all the work you’ve done. Once some time has passed, and you have a visual record of your progress, you can bet your bottom dollar that your motivation to keep working out is going to improve!

2. Prioritize Your Sleep

The benefits you gain from working out don’t happen only at the gym. A study on sleep[1] showed that men who slept for less than 6 hours had poorer muscle strength than those who slept for 7 or more. Sleep energizes your body for the next day’s workout, and it helps your body recover from the last workout routine. It will also help keep your hunger hormones in check[2] so that you don’t end up overeating and losing all the benefits you gained.

3. Drink Plenty Of Water

Studies have shown that dehydration can lead to negative consequences (whether working out or not). Conversely, drinking enough water helps improve physical performance. As such, it is vitally important that you drink at least 20 ounces of water within 2 hours before your workout routine.

You shouldn’t drink too much water as well as you’re going to feel bloated and you may have to visit the loo every 30 minutes. So monitor your water intake, and you’ll feel the difference after some time. Good hydration also has additional benefits, such as reducing the chances of muscle cramps and dizzy spells.

4. Eat Up

Some of us may not want to eat anything before a workout, and you shouldn’t force yourself if you don’t feel like it. However, there are times when your body is out of fuel, and it will be asking you to eat up. Without the proper fuel, you won’t feel your best while working out, thereby reducing the impact of your workout for the day.

This doesn’t mean you should eat anything you come across in your kitchen. You should only be eating nutritious, energy-filled foods[3] such as certain fruits (bananas and oranges) or a protein bar. Don’t eat until you’re full, but don’t leave your home starving as well.

5. Ensure You Have The Proper Workout Attire

Proper Workout Attire
If you’re not comfortable while working out, it’s only going to make your workout that much worse. You may end up injuring your body as a result. This will reduce your motivation to keep coming back to the gym. Make sure you have a pair of well-fitting trainers and comfortable clothing before you step out your door.

6. Do Some Warm-Up Exercises

Even if the workout routine you have planned is short, you shouldn’t skip your warm-ups. These initial exercises help raise your body temperature, increase your range of motion, and loosen up your joints so you can have a more comfortable workout session. This is the best time to stretch and prepare your body so you don’t end up straining and injuring it during the workout.

Post-Workout Routine – 6 Steps You Should Incorporate

1. Always Stretch Yourself Out

Similar to a warm-up, stretching can reset your body after a workout and help it cool down. You need to ensure that both your heart rate and temperature have reduced before walking out that door. Stretching will help to prevent any cramps from occurring and will tone the muscles you’ve just been working out. If you were wondering how long to hold a stretch, you should do it for at least 15 seconds.

2. Make Use Of A Foam Roller

Use Of A Foam Roller
According to experts, foam rolling can help you recover from your workout and minimize soreness by increasing blood flow to the tissues you’ve just been working out. Do this regularly, and you’re sure to notice the difference.

3. Rehydrate

As we sweat, we lose water and become more dehydrated. Even if you drank water before, ensure you drink a few more ounces after the workout to replenish the water lost from your cells.

4. Refuel

After your workout, you need to eat something nutritious. This meal is more important than your pre-workout routine meal. Your body needs nutrition (carbs and protein) which will help replenish your glycogen stores and rebuild your muscles. If you don’t eat anything, you’re going to feel ravenous for a long time, and you’ll be tired throughout the day. Also, take care to avoid junk food and overeating. This will negate all your progress for the day.

5. Take A Cold Shower

Even though there is no guarantee[4] that a cold shower will help you recover faster, it will still bring your body temperature down and help you feel more normal. Especially if you’ve been working out in hot conditions, you will feel more rested and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

6. Change Your Damp Clothing

Some of us prefer to change at home in our comfort. Even if you do that, remove any piece of clothing that is damp with sweat. Leaving these on for a long time can lead to the growth of bacteria and germs, making your next workout routine uncomfortable.

Conclusion

A pre-workout routine and post-workout routine are essential additions to your arsenal when working out. They will keep your body prepared and stabilize your motivation for your next workout routine.

Comfort and consistency are key to achieving our body goals, and without these workout routines, the result is only made that much more difficult.

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