Exercising is one way to improve or maintain health and fitness. Regular exercise has numerous health benefits. It can help control your weight, manage blood sugar levels, lower the risk of heart diseases, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve your sleep, mood, and mental health.
Though focusing on the actual exercise is very important, you should also consider the importance of pre-workout habits to increase your workout’s effectiveness. There are certain things you should avoid before exercising to help prepare your body and mind to perform better during training and avoid any injury.
7 Things You Should Not Do Before Workout
Avoid these pre-workout habits that may affect your fitness routine and to help create a better mindset to push yourself during training.
Avoid: Eating heavy meals.
A healthy pre-workout meal helps supply nutrients to your muscles. A study shows that consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal before endurance exercise appears to help your body function during training.
Avoid eating heavy meals too close to a workout as it may cause nausea, cramps, and indigestion. The recommendation is to eat a meal 4 hours before training, or a snack at least an hour before.
Alcohol is diuretic and may cause increased passing of urine. Working out after drinking alcohol may lead to dehydration. It may cause dizziness, headache, and muscle cramps. Drinking alcohol may also affect your motor skills, balance, and eye coordination that may lead to injury.
Sleeping can help your body recover. The amount of sleep you need varies depending on your age and lifestyle. If you plan to work out, make sure you slept for at least 7-8 hours. Lack of sleep or oversleeping may cause you to feel tired and moody that may affect your performance during training.
Avoid: Taking a nap.
If you want to hit the gym, but you are feeling tired, you may take a power nap to gain energy and keep alert. Taking a quick 15-20 minute nap may help you recharge and feel refreshed. Napping more than that may cause your body to become lethargic, which has low energy and enthusiasm.
Avoid: Static stretching.
Stretching helps to keep your muscles flexible and healthy. Do you need to stretch before exercising? Before working out, it is advisable to do dynamic stretching, which involves active movements that help your muscles warm-up. Avoid doing static stretching that involves stretches that take a muscle to the point of tension for as short as 15-30 seconds without movement. Static stretching should be part of your post-workout routine to relax your muscles.
Avoid: Drinking too much water.
While staying hydrated is very important during physical activity, drinking too much water may harm you and cause hyponatremia. It occurs when the concentration of sodium in your blood is low. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, vomiting, and cramps.
Avoid: Taking over-the-counter pain killers.
Taking pain killers before work out to ease muscle pain is not a good idea. Consuming pain killers before training can be harmful as it may push you over your threshold because your body cannot respond to pain accordingly. It may also lead to kidney injury, according to a study.
Having a great workout depends on how you prepare yourself for the training. Avoiding these pre-workout habits may help you get better results and prevent any injury, giving you a great experience that may motivate you to continue your fitness journey.