It’s not smart to jump right into your workout without a proper warm-up. Doing so puts you at a greater risk for injury and can lead to an ineffective workout.
The warm-up should involve a combination of cardio, calisthenics and stretching. The exact types of exercises depend on the type of workout you plan to do. For example, lifting and other strength-training sessions require warming up the muscles that will be worked out, while a light cardio session like running doesn’t.
A workout can be an effective way to strengthen and tone the muscles, but it’s important to stretch those working muscles afterwards too. Failing to do so can lead to injury (no thanks).
There are different types of stretching, including static and dynamic stretches. Static stretches are usually performed while standing still for 30 or more seconds, like the classic touching your toes stretch. Dynamic stretches include running a muscle through its full range of motion, such as lunges and arm swings.
The food you eat impacts your energy levels and how well your body functions during exercise. Avoid sugary snacks that don’t fit into your overall healthy eating plan and instead choose snacks that are high in protein, carbohydrates and healthful fats.
To maximize your performance, eat something within an hour of exercising that provides both protein and carbs. Carbs can be converted into glucose for immediate energy during exercise, while protein saturates muscle stores to prevent their breakdown for energy.