Whether your workout routine involves running, swimming, elliptical cardio, weight training, walking, or a combination of all these, it’s essential that you prepare properly and recover well from your workouts. By being diligent about taking these steps, you will keep your body safe from injury and ensure that your workouts are effective for increasing fitness.
Many people don’t know how to prepare their bodies properly for a workout. As muscles are “cold” before they are engaged in physical activity, it is essential to protect them by performing an easy warmup before commencing strenuous exercise. You can use the first ten minutes of a workout to do easy cardio and dynamic stretches (“moving” stretches) before starting into moderate or strenuous work. Never lock your muscles into stationary stretches (static stretches) before they are warm, as this could cause injury. Make sure you are hydrated before beginning your workout as well.
Listen to Your Body
Though it can be tempting to work extra hard when you feel really good, always be mindful of your fitness level and don’t push too far past the intensity level you’re used to. There’s nothing wrong with working at your own level and taking time to slowly increase the intensity of your workouts over weeks or even months. Don’t ignore warning signals, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, or extreme muscle pain, during a workout. Instead, stop when you feel unusually tired or experience abnormal pain.
Just as you should be diligent in starting your workout with a warmup, always end it with a cooldown. Establish a routine of doing the last ten minutes at a slower pace so that your heart rate has a chance to return to its normal rate slowly. Stretch your muscles using static stretches (stationary stretches) after every workout. When your muscles feel sore, tight, and tired, roll them out using a foam roller or get a massage to aid in their recovery. Be sure to drink water to replace the fluids you lost during your workout.
Get Guidance on Proper Form
Utilising proper form is essential to workout safety. If we are not careful, poor posture can cause muscular imbalances, which can lead to more posture issues. An experienced physiotherapist can help you break this vicious cycle by helping you identify where your body is imbalanced and helping you correct your form.
By following these guidelines for workout preparation, recovery, and advancement, you will set yourself on the path to success as you strive to maintain or increase your health through fitness. If you take time for your body, your body will reward you!