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7 things you should never do before a workout

By Brinda Sapat
Last updated on: June 15, 2015 18:44 IST
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Follow these seven rules which will save you from injury and also ensure a more effective workout session...

So you have finally decided to workout and will soon be heading to the gym to get the physique you had only been dreaming about. But are you truly ready for the gym session?

Pre-workout prep is as important as what you do during and after the workout.

Not only what you do before the workout but also what you consume affects both your performance in the gym and also your body.

1. Don't eat a heavy meal close to workout time

Exercising on a heavy stomach will not only make you feel heavy but also cause cramps and discomfort. This won’t let you exercise properly and you may even end up quitting your session entirely.

Always make sure to give yourself at least a 2 hour break between your heavy meal and workout.

2. Don't be on an empty stomach

Your body needs a supply of energy to be able to exercise effectively and efficiently. When the stomach is empty, the body doesn’t have the fuel to move, just like a car. Carbohydrates start up your body and then allow fats to take over (and burn in the process!).

A fruit, handful of nuts or any complex carbohydrate must be consumed an hour or 30 minutes prior to your workout.

3. Get the right amount of sleep

Lack of sleep or over sleeping causes the body to become lethargic and this makes your energy output much lower than normal, making the workout less effective. The next time you workout make sure you have had enough sleep and rest.

4. Don't do static or bouncy stretches

Stretching a cold muscle can lead to a muscle pull or in worse case, a tear. When the muscles are cold, they lack elasticity making them prone to injury. Gentle rhythmic movements (jogging, knee raises, un-loaded hamstring curls) should be done during the warm up session to open up the muscles preparing them for the activity to follow.

5. Avoid high intensity cardio

If weight lifting is your agenda, avoid high intensity cardio interval training before your weights workout.

Weight lifting places high demand on the body. High intensity cardio workout depletes the body of energy making the weight lifting workout too difficult. A light, short and sustained cardio workout helps to warm up and prepare the muscles for weight lifting.

6. Don't take pain killers

Pain killers act as muscle relaxants which has a counter effect that isn’t required when you exercise. Skip the workout if you are in need of pain medication, or opt for a moderate paced walk or any other light cardio exercise.

7. Don't drink alcohol

Alcohol slows you down, dehydrates your body and lowers the body’s reflexes. This not only makes the workout ineffective but also the blurred reflexes can cause accidental injury.

Make sure sufficient amount of hours have passed and sufficient glasses of water have been drunk, before you hit the gym.

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Brinda Sapat
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