What You Should and Shouldn’t Do Before Working Out

June 6, 2017
While everyone has their pre-workout rituals, there are certain things that you shouldn't do before working out if you want to benefit from your workout. Discover them here!

Do you really know what to do before working out? What should you do to get great results for your body?

It’s possible for some people to think some things are right. But, if you do them before working out, you could destroy your workout and not reach your goals.

Before going to the gym or working out at home, follow these pieces of advice. This way, you won’t be in worse condition and can reach your greatest potential.

These are 5 things that you shouldn’t do before working out. We’ll also tell you the things you should replace them with.

1. Nap before working out

It’s obvious that you want to rest before working out. However, you can get in the way of your progress. This happens when you abuse yourself and sleep too much before a workout.

When you nap for more than 30 minutes, your body enters a deep sleep. This is just like when you sleep at night.

A nap that lasts more than 30 minutes may only make you feel slower and more tired than before you took it.

Read more here: The Best Exercise Routine To Do At Home

You might think that you need a nap before working out. If so, be sure to set your alarm for 15-20 minutes. This will let you have time to rest your eyes and body. However, you won’t trick your brain into thinking that it’s time to rest for a longer time.

2. Stretches

A woman stretching before working out.

You probably had gym teachers who told you to stretch your muscles well before any intense activity. However, stretching before working out can do more damage than good.

Static stretches before working out may only reduce muscle strength. At the same time, they may increase the risk of unnecessarily pushing your muscles harder. This may increase your risk of tears and mistreatment.

Instead of using static stretches before working out, warm up your muscles by moving them one way or another.

Try things like running in place, scissor jumps, or using a stationary bike to warm up your muscles little by little.

Wait until after your workout for the static stretches. They’ll be more beneficial once you have relaxed your muscles.

3. High-intensity interval workouts

High-intensity interval workouts use variations of an exercise for the length of the exercise. This kind of training interrupts your body’s natural breathing rhythm. This happens because of the change in the intensity of the intervals and the rest you take between them.

If that wasn’t enough, it also may reduce your resistance and strength quickly. (This is something that certainly isn’t your goal). It’s possible for this to even happen at the beginning of your workout.

What you should do is some kind of cardio exercise to start your training session. It’s not necessary for you to do sprints.

Instead, do high-intensity workouts. Vary them a little with stationary cardio in which the amount of energy doesn’t vary a whole lot.

4. Eat or drink too much

A woman having dinner.

After eating, your body starts the digestion process. What you may not often realize is the amount of energy your body needs for this process.

Looking at it from this point of view, maybe your mom was right when she asked you to wait after eating to go swimming.

When you want to do exercise during the digestive process, you could be putting too much pressure on your body. This can cause stomach cramps and nausea.

Also, if you drink really sugary drinks, you could be forcing your body to reach its limits too early. This may make it impossible to finish your training session successfully.

Think about eating a healthy diet. You should especially do this before working out. This will give your body the energy it needs before working out.

Eat foods like fruits, cereals, and yogurt. Avoid sweet things.

Remember that many energy drinks can contain a lot of sugar. You should read the labels thoroughly. This will help you realize if the ingredients in your favorite energy drink help you. On the other hand, it will also tell you if they’re hurting you.

5. Take too many supplements

Supplements.

You should eat a balanced diet before exercise. If you do, you’ll get all of the vitamins and minerals you need without needing a supplement.

However, if you decide to use them, it’s best not to use too many. Taking too many supplements may cause irregular heartbeats, nausea, and anxiety, among other conditions.

You can take supplements to give your body an extra push during exercise. But, in the long run, there are more cons than pros for using these supplements.

If you’re going to use supplemental powders or pills, the best thing to do is to read the tag. You should know exactly what you’re taking before you put it in your body.

Discover: Improve Your General Health with These Exercises

This will help you make better decisions. You’ll know how it’ll affect your body and possible secondary effects.

You can use them in moderation. This will give you an advantage while you gain resistance and increase your health. However, avoid abusing them at all costs.

Main image courtesy of  ©wikiHow.com.

  • Page, P. (2012). Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. https://doi.org/PMC3273886
  • Andersen, J. C. (2005). Stretching before and after Exercise: Effect on muscle soreness and injury risk. Journal of Athletic Training. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892011000500011
  • Baxter, C., Mc Naughton, L. R., Sparks, A., Norton, L., & Bentley, D. (2017). Impact of stretching on the performance and injury risk of long-distance runners. Research in Sports Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2016.1258640