When it comes to maximizing your fitness routine, what you do before your workouts can be just as important as what you do during or after. The time you spend sweating at the gym may get all the credit, but working out is the easiest part of fitness for anyone’s exercise routine. Things like sound sleep and quality nutrition play a significant role in your health and overall well-being.
Step 1: Make Sleep a Priority
The most important part of your exercise routine is having enough energy to see it through to the end, and that requires sleep. Without an average of 8 hours of sleep per night, our body starts to break down, and multiple, disastrous health problems can arise. Sleeping less than 5 hours per night can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, stress, mood disorders, and a lack of focus.
Make a sleep schedule you can stick to and try not to oversleep or stay up too late on the weekends. Good sleep is incredibly important for recovering your muscles, as well.
Step 2: Gather Your Pre-Workout Supplements and Vitamins
While you shouldn’t take any pre-workout supplement until a few minutes before a workout, you should still take vitamins, like B12, vitamin D, and sometimes a B complex, right after you get up. Vitamin D and B12 are common deficiencies, yes, even in meat diets, because both vitamins are hard to come by in nature. Most foods are supplemented with B12 and C as a result.
If you choose to take a pre-workout supplement, be sure to use a muscle booster that allows more oxygen to the brain, like this nitric oxide supplement on Amazon.
Step 3: Drink Plenty of Water
You likely take vitamins with water, so continue that practice by drinking even more of that good ol’ H2O. Drinking water is critical to overall health and happiness and is especially important in a workout routine. You’ll lose more water the more you move, and staying hydrated will keep your energy high, your skin feeling soft, and your muscles lubricated.
The average adult must drink the following amount of water per day:
- Around 15.5 cups of water a day for men
- Around 11.5 cups of water a day for women
A taller, shorter, or broader adult may need more water than average. To know if you’re adequately hydrated, check the color of your pee. If it’s clear, you’re fine, but if it’s yellow, drink more water!
Step 4: Eat a Small Snack
It’s not absolutely necessary to eat a snack before working out, but if you’re feeling hungry, you should carb up immediately. Don’t ever ignore your body, or you could feel more tired than usual the following day and potentially miss your workout. An apple, a piece of toast with peanut butter, or a Larabar that’s high in protein will help you complete your workout energized.
Step 5: Wear Comfortable Clothing
During your workout, you’ll be jumping, skipping, stretching, and running, so comfortable clothing is required. Choose clothing that isn’t just cozy but also easy to move in and makes you feel like a million bucks. There’s no pressure to wear form-fitting clothing if you don’t want to; just know that everyone starts somewhere. As long as you feel confident, that’s what matters!
Before going to the gym, do the sit test (sit down in your clothing) and spin test to see if your shirt or pants hug you in a way you don’t like, may trip you or are too tight or loose.
Final Step: Warm-up Before Working Out
Always, always, always warm up before working out. Did I mention “always warm-up before working out?” It’s essential to raise your body temperature because it will increase your range of motion and prevent injury. Your body will adapt quicker to your workout if you ease into it, so perform a few dynamic stretches (stretches that involve active movement) and light cardio.