When you want to get fitter, improve your health or build stamina and endurance, preparing your mind and body for the gym is vital. Workouts, no matter your goal, are not just physical, but also emotional. Just like any other athlete, it is essential to warm up and awaken your joints, muscles, fibers and cells before you head to the gym to exercise.
Preparing Your Mind And Body For The Gym #1: Sleep Well
Getting a good night’s sleep is key to having a successful workout. So many people underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep and exercising regularly, but it recharges the mind and regenerates cells. Therefore, it makes a remarkable difference to your performance.
To get enough sleep before a workout make sure you go to bed at least six hours before your morning exercise routine. This practice ensures you have enough restorative REM sleep. Also, if possible, try not to work out too late in the evening, as this can interfere with your circadian rhythm. It may also disrupt sleep patterns due to hormone release during your workout.
Working out regularly boosts your energy levels throughout the day. Staying active has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress levels. So just think of those benefits as you drag yourself out of bed for those early-morning sessions. Sure, you’d rather be sleeping than sweating on an elliptical machine or treadmill. But, you’ll be thankful you conditioned your mind and body when you’re bouncing around the office at 3 pm, while everyone else is taking a nap.
Preparing Your Mind And Body For The Gym #2: Eat The Right Fuel
You are what you eat. So, make sure that your pre-workout meal consists of foods high in complex carbohydrates and protein. These nutrients will give you the energy to power through a strenuous workout without feeling fatigued or getting lightheaded after an intense set on the bench press. Plus, it feeds your mind and gives it the power surge you need to push on well after your body is done.
Depending on your goals, eggs or half a cup of oatmeal with some blueberries make for an ideal breakfast before hitting the gym. These meals provide protein and carbs while also being low in fat and sugar. Your post-workout meal should include healthy fats like avocado or nuts mixed with lean proteins like fish or chicken breast. You can even get creative by making homemade guacamole tacos using whole wheat tortillas (but avoid frying them) This type of balanced diet will ensure that your muscles are adequately recovered and that you have the motivation to get through your next workout.
Preparing Your Mind And Body For The Gym #3: Positive Mindset
A simple way to prepare your mind is to take a few deep breaths and as you inhale and then exhale focus on your body and how it feels. You might also want to set some goals for yourself before you start working out. Then as you inhale and exhale focus on one of those goals. This approach can help keep you motivated throughout your session.
Preparing Your Mind And Body For The Gym #4: Switch On Muscles
Once you have got your mind ready, it is time to focus on your body. A good warm-up is essential to avoiding injuries during your workout. Spend at least five minutes warming up all of the major muscle groups before you start lifting weights or doing cardio. This procedure wakes up and activates your muscles so that they work hard and you get better results. Plus, you don’t want to do any strenuous activity until your muscles are nice and loose. Otherwise, you could hurt yourself.
Preparing Your Mind And Body For The Gym #5: Drink Water
Finally, make sure you stay hydrated both before, during and after your workout. Drink plenty of water with electrolyte supplements before you start exercising to make sure your cells stay balanced to prevent soreness. Afterward, add a protein shake or fruit smoothie into the mix for some much-needed nutrients after all that hard work.
Preparing Your Mind And Body For The Gym: Key Takeaways
These are just some tips on preparing yourself for the gym! It might sound like a lot of work, but you won’t regret it when you can go into your workout feeling strong and refreshed.
Just to recap:
- Get enough sleep to regenerative your cells.
- Eat the right fuels to power up your mind and body.
- Inhale and exhale deeply and focus on goals to prepare your mind.
- Warm up your muscles before a workout to wake them up and switch them on, giving you most benefit.
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout.
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