Properly preparing your body for physical activity is the most important step before any type of exercise and vital in helping to prevent injury.
Some people are short on time and therefore skip their warm up routines to get more exercise instead. This is not the best idea if you want to prevent any type of injury. You should always warm up with dynamic stretching which will gradually increase your heart rate, increase your circulation and get the synovial fluid going; which lubricates your joints.
Dynamic warm up includes: side to side neck rolls, shoulder rolls, arm circles, arm reaches, arm crosses, wrist circles, any type of step moves, knee ups, knee tucks, ankle circles, hip openers, hip circles and any other types of gentle moves to prepare your body for activity. You’ll want to really target the part of your body which will be primarily used for that specific workout.
It’s important to save your static stretches for the end of the workout, so refrain from doing any type of static stretch until your workout is complete.
Also keep in mind that the treadmill does not prepare your body for physical activity. Yes your body will feel warm from walking on the treadmill, but it won’t lubricate all the joints you will most like be using during your exercise program.
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Do what’s right for you
Choose exercise programs and weights that are suited for you and your body. If you are just starting out you will want to focus on basic moves before you try anything advanced. You’ll also want to refrain from using too heavy of a weight. Remember, more is not always better and that is also in the case of spending hours and hours a day in the gym.
Everything we want in life takes time to achieve. Allow yourself proper time to reach your goals and trust in the process. If you have been exercising quite some time and not getting the results you are looking for, you’ll probably need to tweak your diet, depending on what your goals are.Don’t over stretch your body!
If one of your goals is to gain more flexibility and range of motion, you must ease into it. Basic rule of thumb is if you take your stretch to mild discomfort, then slightly ease off. Hold your stretch at least 30 seconds and over time you will be able to reach further.
The best time to incorporate those static stretches are at the end of your workout when your body is warm from the inside out. Working static stretches prior to exercise can lead to injury because your muscles are cold and your joints are not lubricated.
Choose your food wisely!
Make sure to include your healthy carbohydrates, healthy protein and healthy fat to your diet. Going too low in calories or too low in your macronutrients can be harmful to your body. You need to fuel your body to provide energy for your workouts and for proper recovery.
Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I know it’s not always easy but don’t stay up late to catch up on TV shows or the latest news on social media. It’s just not worth it! Your body repairs itself when you are sleeping.
So when you put all that hard work in at the gym, your chances of throwing it away increase by not getting the proper sleep. Your body will not recover properly, your hormones start to go out of whack; which causes you to gain weight and your risk for health conditions increase.
Just do your best to take care of your body and in return your body will take care of you.
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