New Delhi, October 16, 2017 : Maybe you have just begun working out at a gym, or maybe you have been an active gym member for months. Maybe you have recently lost a lot of weight, or you may have bulked up and gained fuller body proportions. Whatever it may be, the credit for your fit and fabulous avatar is always given to the time you spend working out and exercising- and that’s where we are wrong.
While work out at the gym is crucial, it is not the only trick at work that makes you look your best!
Your workout does not end with your last exercise or the last rep. Instead, it had already begun even before you entered the gym, and a complete workout lasts beyond all that you do at the gym.
Exercise alone is not enough to keep you in shape. The body demands proper rest and nutrition to be able to perform better at the gym and maximize benefits. For that, there are a few things that must be done before and after your gym workout.
Here are a few steps that can help you maximize the benefits of a good work out! Follow our best pre workout and post workout tips to maximize and experience the benefits of working out like never before.
1. Don’t Compromise On The Sleep
After strenuous hours at the gym, who wouldn’t want to sleep? A sound sleep is key to being rewarded for the controlled diet and fitness efforts. It is one of the most important components of a healthy workout. When you sleep, your body is at complete rest. This allows your muscles to relax, recover and prepare for another day of workout at the gym.
According to a research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it was proven that insufficient sleep – less than seven hours of sleep every night- can reduce and completely undo the benefits of dieting and workout.
But a common question is, do you need to sleep more when you exercise?
The answer is a big yes.
After workout, when bodies receive adequate rest, they tend to lose half of the weight of body fat.
Being well rested not only energizes the body to exercise in the gym, but it also keeps the hunger hormones under check, thus saving you from consuming unnecessary food. This is because when we don’t sleep enough, the cortisol levels in our body rise, which activates regions in our brain that make us crave food.
Brazilian researchers have previously proved that inadequate sleep hampers the body’s ability to make muscles, causes muscle loss and can also lead to an increased chance of sustaining injuries.
2. Consume Pre-workout Snacks
A simple mantra should be to not keep yourself starving, but also not make yourself feel full. Food means energy; if your body lacks basic energy, pulling yourself from the bed and walking all the way to the gym can be a hard, long walk.
While a full stomach will impede a successful workout, studies suggest that one can benefit from better results by consuming the right pre workout food. Lean proteins and carbohydrate rich foods make for the best pre-workout food.
Health experts suggest consuming low-fat pre workout food – these can include Greek yoghurt, fish, sweet potato and beans.
3. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Working out is synonymous with sweating profusely. Hence, you must make sure you are well-hydrated as the body is losing water. Proper hydration levels also ensure required energy levels for the body for a successful workout.
Make sure you are sipping water before, in the middle of, and after your workout.
Although there is no standard for the quantity of water required, but you must aim to consume water worth half of your body weight in ounces every day. Experts suggest drinking two to three cups of water a few hours before working out, in order to maintain hydration levels during workout.
4. Prepare Your Body With A Warm-Up
Would you prefer if somebody just pushed you off your bed, in an attempt to wake you up? You might get hurt and would be jostled, wouldn’t you?
Well, that is what a workout without warm up exercises feels like to the body.
Workout without a warm-up session is a complete no no.
Warm-up gradually increases the heart rate and blood circulation; this loosens the joints and increases the blood supply to the muscles thus, preparing them for strenuous physical activity and also helping them prevent injuries.
The warm-up session is also a good opportunity to help prepare yourself mentally for a gym workout.
POST WORKOUT TIPS
5. Cool Down and Stretch
Your body is continuously in motion while you are working out in the gym. After you are done with the exercises, abruptly bringing the body to rest will do more harm than benefit. Stretching proves a healthy option in such a scenario.
Stretching exercises are aimed to gradually bring the body to rest.
Stretching eases and primarily benefits the pumped muscles, and helps the nervous system relax and recover. It decreases muscle soreness and helps accelerate the recovery process.
6. Re-hydrate Your Body
As you work out and burn calories, the body sweats to cool itself down. If you do not hydrate yourself, you will end up losing unhealthy amounts of water from your body in the form of sweat and urine.
Proper hydration keeps the body temperature under check, and lubricates the joints, which further prevents injury.
7. Refuel Your Body With A Post-Workout Snack
When you work out, you do not only burn calories and lose carbohydrates, but also tear and work (sometimes over work) your muscles. Hence, it is important to repair the torn muscles and boost energy levels.
The anabolic window of the body lasts for over 30 to 45 minutes after a workout. It is during this time that the body looks for proteins and carbohydrates to replenish and recover glycogen in the body and build muscles. This is why it is critical to provide the body with the required nutrition.
A pre-workout snack is optional; however a post-workout snack holds more importance – it gives your body the much needed fuel to recover after a tough workout.
8. Post Workout Shower
Who doesn’t like a hot shower post working out in the gym; the hot water seems to ease the muscles and the body from aches. However, you should instead take a cool post-workout shower.
While working out, the heart rate increases and lactic acid builds in the muscles as they are deprived of oxygen.
Taking a cool shower immediately bring the heart rate and increase blood circulation, which in turn helps to reduce the recovery time for sore muscles.
Working out in the gym can cause small tears to the muscles, thereby causing muscle inflammation. A cold shower relives this soft tissue inflammation and the pain associated with it.
Now if you ask us the mantra to maximize the results of hours of working out at the gym?
“Warm up. Sweat it out. And cool down”
That’s all you need to do to make sure your body remains healthy.
– prepared by Soha Kala. Twitter : SohaKala