Exercise. Some of us know all the ins and outs about it, and others have absolutely not a clue where to start. But believe it or not, there are some basic ground rules when it comes to developing a good exercise regimen. There are certain things you should and should not do in regards to starting a workout. Don’t let any of this scare you off. Instead, adapt these four rules into your next workout session and see how you feel before and after. And if you do each of these steps already, good for you. Eventually it’ll just become another habit and that’s exactly what you want to establish when it comes to incorporating a healthy lifestyle.
So whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or simply improve your overall level of fitness, you might already be aware of the do’s and don’ts. Just think about it: there are pretty much rules for every aspect of life. View these rules as “tips” instead and how you can improve and become the best shape of you.
1. Feeling sick? Don’t Workout
It’s actually worse if you workout while fighting sickness, then if you don’t workout at all. You will only stress your body more, give yourself a setback, and fight with aches from the sickness and post workout. Don’t do it. Your body will occasionally cry for a break and it’s okay. But if you realize that you’re in more pain than not, you might want to consider having a conversation with your primary care doctor. So, while working out is good for your health, listen to your body and know when to stop and take a break.
2. Drop the Sugar and Salt
Sugary foods can grant you a sudden burst of energy, but after a while, you will inevitably experience a sugar crash. Tiredness will start to hinder your workout and eating salty foods before a workout is a big no-no too. Your body will dehydrate, and that can cause headaches and cramps. If possible, a morning workout might be helpful for you if that’s when you feel most energetic and an empty stomach can give you that extra charge you need. Ditch the cakes, chips, cookies, and pretzels especially right before a workout. You want to feel the most charged and not bloated, sluggish and lightheaded. It might be worth it to try pre-workout snacks that will boost and sustain your energy throughout your workout, rather than deplete it.
3. Tone Back on Your Water
Okay, everyone knows that water is good for you, especially when you need to hydrate yourself. However, you need to drink water consistently throughout the day, and not down too many glasses right before your workout. It’s better to drink water throughout the day and not all at once. You could possibly put yourself at risk of a condition known as Hyponatremia, which can affect your kidneys. Be mindful of your water intake, and follow this guide to find out how much water you should drink before, during, and after your workout. There’s nothing worse than working out with a stomach full of water. You’ll feel defeated if you can’t give all you have for your workout.
4. Don’t Jump In Without a Warm-up
Warm ups are crucial because they prepare your muscles for intense activity. If you skip the warm-up stage, you might struggle to exercise effectively, and you might experience aches, pains, and cramps throughout or after your workout. Your body is also more prone to injuries and setbacks. My favorite way to warm up is to do a 3-5 minute yoga at a fast pace. Not only does it wake me up, pump my heart a bit, but it also opens my joints. Doing this will prepare your body and not set it through shock as you begin lifting weights and/or do cardio.
See, these are basic and straightforward tips to heed. These four “rules” will soon be incorporated into your daily workout schedule and you won’t even notice it before long. Check in with yourself daily and see how you’re feeling and if you’re ready to get a workout in!