Preparing your mind and body for a workout is always a good idea. Some days it’s harder than others to get motivated for the gym. It could be because of the weather, a restless night’s sleep, stress, or any number of factors. But what’s the best way to turn a sour mood around and destress? No, not tequila. It’s a workout!
The truth of the matter is, your workout starts before you even step foot in the gym. Here are a few pre-workout tips to get you in the mood.
Eat Something Healthy
You want to eat something to give you energy. What you should eat depends on your fitness level and your goals, but there are some universal truths to a pre-workout meal that apply to everyone. You want to get a good combo of protein and carbs in your body 1 to 2 hours before your workout. Yes, carbs. This doesn’t mean you should load up on candy just because it’s full of carbs. (Candy = Bad.)
But don’t skip the carbs altogether. They are fuel for your body, and your body will need them to keep the workout in high gear. The protein fix will work on repairing your muscles as you’re breaking them down during the workout. Remember, you don’t want to eat right before you’re running out the door because your stomach will be trying to digest in the middle of your workout. Plus, think of the embarrassing noises that might sneak out while you’re stretching. (We know. We know. You just want to get the workout over with. But stretching beforehand has its benefits.)
The jury is still out about many of these pre-workout drinks and supplements, but many people swear by them, too. The Internet is full of opinions. Everyone from fitness fanatics and trainers…to Aunt Fran has something to say. We suggest you do your research, and see what works for you. (Here are some top picks.) One thing all the experts do seem to agree on (sorry, Aunt Fran): Stay away from sugary sodas. Even if you think a can of Coke will give you the burst of energy you need, it will do more harm than good. Water works nicely to keep us hydrated, but if you prefer a little flavor or a boost with your beverage there are myriad choices on the market.
Music Can Make All the Difference
If you’re amped up and your mood is good, you’ll work out stronger. Science says so. The perfect playlist can make all the difference. Set the mood, and up the ante in the gym with a music mix that lifts your spirits and pushes you just a little bit harder. A little more sweat never hurt anybody, right?