POPSUGAR FitnessSource: Pre-Workout Mistakes to Avoid
It takes a lot of effort to carve out time for a sweat session, so don't sabotage it by making these poor choices right before you exercise. Find out which mistakes make it harder for you to get in a good workout and which can cause an injury that sidelines you from hitting the gym at all.
- Working Out on Empty: If you work out first thing in the morning, then it's important to eat a little something to fuel your workout, or else you'll end up burning the muscle you're working so hard to build. Here are some light pre-workout snack ideas.
- Fueling Up With Fiber: Apples and peanut butter may be a healthy snack, but the high fiber content can cause digestive issues such as gas pains or the need to run to the ladies' room mid-workout. Choose snacks like these that are focused on protein and carbs instead to offer you energy without the tummy troubles.
- Gulping Down an Energy Drink: Caffeine can give your workout a boost, but energy drinks are also packed with refined sugars. They'll end up spiking your blood sugar levels, which will then drop dramatically in the middle of your workout, making you lose your get-up-and-go. Sip on some coffee or green tea instead.
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- Eating Too Much: A lunchtime workout offers a much-needed break from your busy day. But if you scarf down your midday meal and then head to the gym, then not only will you have digestive issues during your workout, but also, your body will be expending its energy breaking down the food, making you feel too sluggish to sweat it out. Opt for a small snack 30 minutes beforehand, and then enjoy your lunch when you get back.
- Wearing Cotton: Although all-natural, soft, and breathable, cotton undies and socks are best reserved for your time away from the gym. When you sweat, this fabric gets wet and stays wet, leading to blisters on your feet, yeast infections for your lady business, and chafing in other areas. Slip on workout clothes made of wicking material to pull moisture away from your skin to keep you dry. If natural fibers are important to you, then go with merino wool.
- Stretching Before: Stretching cold muscles is a surefire way to pull a muscle. Save your stretch session for after your workout; here are some ideas.
- Jumping Right Into Your Workout: It's hard to find time to fit exercise into our day, so when we finally get to the gym, we want to get in and out as fast as possible. Don't skip the warmup just because you're short on time. Spend at least five minutes doing a lighter version of your workout (like walking), or try this dynamic warmup.