Regular exercise can have many positive effects on the body, both mentally and physically. However, the effectiveness of a workout also depends on the course of action you take before you begin. We want to feel like the time we spend in the gym is completely worthwhile. Diving right into a workout without the proper preparation and fuel can actually reduce your performance in the gym or worse, cause an injury that leaves you unable to exercise. We’ve rounded up our top recommendations to benefit your performance in the gym, aid in recovery and increase your overall enjoyment of exercise.
Eat a small, balanced meal two hours before your workout - Eating before you exercise is important to keep you fueled during your workout, and to make recovery easier for your body. When you workout on an empty stomach, your body will still be looking for energy, and ultimately it will find it by burning your muscle mass. To maximise the results of your training, eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat 2–3 hours before you workout. If you’re exercising in the morning and this isn’t possible, snacks such as a banana or a tablespoon of peanut butter are a quick and easy option.
Warm up - Preparation is key. It is crucial to prepare your body for a workout so that you can maximise your performance and reduce your risk of injury. A warm up of at least 10 minutes can help to increase your core body temperature, facilitating blood flow to your muscles; making your muscles less likely to rip, tear, or twist in a harmful way and thus reducing your risk of injury during exercise.
Dynamic stretching - Dynamic stretches are controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for exercise. They involve active movements where your joints and muscles go through a full range of motion, as opposed to a static stretch where you hold a position. Dynamic stretches are preferred as they help to lengthen your muscles and stimulate movement in your joints to minimise the risk of injury when exercising. Stretching has the ability to:
- Increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and other areas of the body
- Increase flexibility and range of motion
- Warm the soft tissues to help prevent injury
- Improve muscle tone and posture
- Optimises performance
- Help eliminate stress and improve mental sharpness
Hydration - It is important to drink at least 200ml of water before working out. Water regulates your body temperature and actually lubricates your joints! It also helps to transport nutrients around your body to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you lack adequate hydration, your body can't perform at its highest level and recovery can be more difficult.
Topical pain relief - If joint stiffness or pain is holding you back from starting your workout, try Deep Heat Original. A pain relief cream formulated for temporary relief of muscular aches, strains and pains. The fast acting, easily absorbed cream can be applied directly onto the area in pain, providing targeted, effective relief so you can concentrate on performing in the gym.Always read the label. follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health care professional. For the relief of mild arthritis symptoms.