When exercising, it’s important to remember that stretching plays a role. You’ll want to stretch before starting any type of exercise, especially when it’s one that is using a lot of leg and arm muscles. It’s easy to tear muscles and tendons when they’re not properly warmed up first, and you will be left feeling even achier than you would if you don’t stretch beforehand. Simple stretches will even work just fine, too. It’s also good to sometimes stretch, even when you don’t plan on exercising at that time.
Stretching after you wake up helps your muscles to relax. Poor posture is caused by tense muscles that aren’t stretched, and overtime will lead to back problems. Think about how cats and dogs stretch as soon as they wake up from their naps before they run off to play or eat. They have the right idea! Stretching takes a minute to do if you’re in a hurry. You’ll be thanking yourself in no time that you had taken the time to stretch. Make sure you stretch all of the time. You can do it after waking up, after sitting for a while, before exercising, or just because.
Now you don’t have to go on a diet just because you decided to pick up a healthier lifestyle of exercising, but it is good to pick up more nutritious eating habits. Eating fast food and processed junk food may seem like a good idea when you’re on the go and don’t have time to cook, but it’s not healthy for you. It’s not that hard to make quick and easy healthy meals at home either. You can always meal prep on a day you are less busy so that you don’t have to worry about meals for the rest of the week.
Instead of a bag of chips, trade it for some crunchy carrots. Are you looking for something sweeter? Trade that candy bar for juicy fruit, such as berries or an apple. Make sure to add fiber and protein into your daily diet as well, and cut out unnecessary sugars when you can. Your body will be thanking you. You will soon be feeling so much better, and it may also help build up more muscle and exercise. Remember, you don’t have to go on a diet to eat healthily. You just have to make smarter choices with what you eat and drink.
Staying hydrated while exercising is probably one the most important things to remember to do. If you’re not hydrated while exercising, you may become dizzy and even faint, causing you to fall, which may lead to injury. Especially if it’s warmer where you are working out, whether indoors or out. Water is the best thing to carry with you even when going for a walk, but even a beverage with electrolytes will do. Just be sure you’re not drinking something that’s loaded with sugar while exercising. It’ll only dehydrate you more.
You would think that beverages such as Gatorade or Powerade would be good to have while exercising, but they can be loaded with sugars, and drinking too much of them can dehydrate you more, making you feel sick. Water is honestly the best drink to have around you when doing any exercise, especially if it involves something that will make you work up a sweat. Be sure to stay away from sodas and juices while exercising, as those are also loaded with sugars. You may even realize you’re dehydrated if you finish a workout and have excessive thirst and headaches.
Remember, it’s a good idea to occasionally take breaks when you start to feel tired, out of breath, or thirsty when exercising. Over exerting yourself isn’t suitable for your body and can damage your muscles if you’re not careful. So listen to your body when it tells you to slow down and take a breather. For example, when you’re running and your legs start to feel like noodles, it just might be time to stop and give them a break.
Another example of taking a break would be if you’re swimming laps in a pool and get short of breath, it’s best to stop and sit on the side for a bit to catch your breath. If you continue to swim, you may make yourself go into panic mode and put your body into shock, or even have a panic or asthma attack if you’re prone to them. Work your way up slowly to reach your goal of how much you can do at a time, don’t go all-in at once, or you may regret it afterward.
Wearing the proper clothing for whatever workout you plan on doing is a good start. If you plan on going for a jog or lifting weight or doing squats, for example, sweatpants or comfortable shorts might be a good idea to wear, along with a baggy shirt or sweatshirt if it’s chilly. If you are outside, wear tennis shoes or sneakers that fit your feet well, and be sure that they are tied, so you do not trip over the laces. When swimming, you can wear a swimsuit of your choice, even shorts or a t-shirt over your suit if that’s more comfortable for you, too.
When doing any sort of activities and exercises outside, it’s important to remember to wear sunscreen on any part of your skin exposed to the sun. Also, remember that you can still get sunburned on a cloudy day if you’re outside too long with exposed skin on a warm day. If you’re riding a bicycle on a sunny day, it may be a good idea to wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes. The same goes for when you are going for a walk or out running.
Making games out of exercising is a fun way to exercise without making it feel like work. Set goals or timers for yourself. See how many times you can jump rope in 30 seconds, or challenge a friend and see who can ride their bike the fastest around the block. If you make it seem like a game, it will make it seem a lot more fun and might just encourage you to get up and get moving around more, too.
If you’re at the public pool with your kids, but all they want to do is float around on pool floaties, see if they can swim to one end of the pool and back in under two minutes. They won’t think it’s work, it won’t feel like exercise, and they’ll have fun doing it. You could set the same goal for yourself too. Maybe put a timer for yourself for 20 minutes, and see what different exercises you can accomplish in that amount of time, without overdoing it, of course. Furthermore, remember, don’t forget to stretch, hydrate, rest, and eat properly!