More often than not, the one hour a day you spend sweating it out in the gym gets all of the credit, but it shouldn’t. Here at Abu Dhabi Personal Trainers we know the importance of the other 23 hours in the day. Unfortunately, the workout can actually be the easiest part of your fitness and health routine. While the one hour of training is important, our personal trainers encourage you to not neglect the other hours in the day. Smart pre and post workout routines, good nutrition and quality sleep are just as important as working out itself. Our personal trainers here in Abu Dhabi have come up with 8 things that you should definitely incorporate into your fitness routine if you want to maximize your results.
Before your workout:
All of the magic happens when you’re asleep! Sleep is the time when your muscles recover and being well-rested means you will be more energized throughout the day and that your hunger hormones are kept in check! Our personal trainers recommend at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
It is extremely important that you stay hydrated when you are working out. Treat your body like a car, a car can’t run without oil just like the body can’t run without water. You should be sipping on water before, during, and after a workout. The exact water needs are different for everybody so listen to your body and always check the color of your urine, it should be a very light yellow, if it is dark it probably means you’re not hydrated enough.
Eating before a workout is not for everybody. Our personal trainers recommend you listen to your body, if you feel like you need some fuel for your workout have a small snack! You want to make sure you are not starving going into a workout but you also don’t want to feel full either. Try a banana before your next workout if you need a little more energy!
Never skip your warm-up! No matter how long your workout is going to be, our personal trainers not only recommend but insist that you always warm up! Warming up ensures that your body temperature is raised, your range of motion is increased and that your body is prepared for what you are about to do. Your warm up should consistent of low intensity stead state cardio for about 5 or 10 minutes and then dynamic stretches, which are essentially any stretches that aren’t held in place.
After your workout:
Just as important as the warm up, it is crucial that you cool-down properly. A cool down will bring your body back to a resting position. Your cool down should include stretching the muscles you have just engaged in your workout. These stretches should be static in nature, that is, stretches that you hold in one place, these stretches should be held between 15 and 30 seconds each. Stretching will help to decrease soreness and help expedite your recovery process.
A pre-workout snack is more optional than a post-workout snack. Refueling after working out is essential. After you work out your body has an anabolic window that lasts about 30 to 45 minutes, during this time your body looks for carbohydrates and protein to help replenish glycogen stores and rebuild your muscles.
8. Take a cool shower
Taking a cool, not cold, shower can help to decrease the inflammation after your workout and can help to expedite the healing process of your muscles. This ultimately will help to decrease the chances of you waking up sore the next morning.