What To Do Before, During And After Exercising

Did you know that there are some mistakes that can minimize the effectiveness of a workout? Like the practice itself, it is also essential to pay attention to what we do before and after exercising.

When we get ready to exercise, we may not take into account how essential it is to prepare the body and protect it during physical exertion. For this reason, we propose to discover what to do before and after exercising, but also during.

The decisions we make and everything we do before and after practicing sports will have an impact on the results we are looking for. Therefore, taking into account the keys that we are going to mention will be essential to achieve the goals set.

How to prepare before exercising?

Woman carrying a tray of food with juice, oranges and a bowl of red berries after exercising.

Before exercising, it is essential to eat properly. In this sense, the strategy can vary according to the characteristics and objectives of each person.

For example, surely on occasion we have heard that it is advisable to do fasting cardio. This can be very helpful for weight loss as it promotes fat burning.

This effect is confirmed by a study published by La Tunisie Médicale  that analyzed fasting exercise during Ramadan in 183 participants. After testing, fat mass decreased in the observed subjects – 12 women and 171 men – but muscle mass remained the same.

However, for many other people, this may not be positive. When we exercise on an empty stomach, and much more if we are not used to it, we can suffer some of these consequences:

  • Dizziness: the body needs energy and, since it does not have it because we have not eaten, we can feel dizzy. In these cases, it is advisable to stop physical activity and provide ourselves with what we need.
  • Low tension: intense physical exercise while fasting can lower tension and force us to stop. It is the body’s way of telling us that we have to feed ourselves.

    According to a Mayo Clinic publication, the ideal is to introduce a dairy, a fruit and some carbohydrates before training. In addition, we must eat two hours before exercising, so that we do not feel heavy and that physical effort does not cause us an upset stomach.

    Another key that we have to take into account is to warm up and stretch. Stretching before physical activity prepares the body for training, reducing the risk of certain injuries and reducing pain after exercise, according to a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine .

    During exercise

    As the training session progresses, you also have to be clear about some keys so that performance is not reduced. Therefore, whenever we make physical effort, we must keep in mind the importance of hydration. When we exercise, and especially if we are in the summer, we lose a lot of fluids that must be recovered.

    According to a publication in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , hydrating is important to avoid an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes. Always carrying a bottle of water with you is essential to avoid dizziness and decreased performance due to dehydration.

    Likewise, we must consider that it is better to do little exercise, but well done, than to do a lot and badly. Sometimes we are in a hurry and that leads us to exercise with machines in an unconscious way. This can lead to injury or lead us to not work properly the muscles we want to develop.

    Similarly, we have to be very careful about lifting more weight than we can. In general, this overexertion can also be applied to cardio.

    If we have recently started training and want to run like a pro, we may injure ourselves, as indicated in a study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , or the next day we may have soreness that prevents us from getting out of bed. Therefore, the progression must be gradual and done thoroughly.

    What comes after exercising?

    After you’ve finished your daily exercise routine, it’s time to do some good stretches. As we mentioned before, these will help us relax our muscles and prevent — at least to some extent — that we suffer pain when we are resting.

    Woman in sportswear doing stretching outdoors.

    One way to help these stretches is by taking a shower after exercising. In addition to making us feel great, it will allow the muscles to relax and calm down.

    On this subject, it is important to make a clarification. While cold showers for muscle recovery have become popular, the scientific evidence is not yet conclusive on the matter.

    Finally, after exercising we must feed ourselves correctly again. There are those who take a protein shake after training, as this helps the muscles to recover and calm hunger.

    As long as it is done in the right doses, for which it is advisable to consult with a professional, this supplementation can be beneficial to enhance strength and hypertrophy, according to recent research published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine . It can be accompanied by a fruit, like a banana.

    On the contrary, what we cannot do under any circumstances is eat junk food just because we are hungry. A good piece of fruit, a juice or a little peanut butter with bread are more nutritious alternatives in these cases.

    What you do after exercising counts

    In short, we can conclude that none of the cited keys has a greater difficulty, but rather they are habits that we can easily incorporate. Of course, if we decide to consume supplements, we should not skip the consultation with the doctor or nutritionist.

    Do you usually carry out the above recommendations when exercising? Are you one of those who stretch before? We hope that, from now on, you will achieve your sports goals thanks to these keys that will help you protect your health.

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