The Importance of a Pre and Post-Workout Routine

*By: Megan Deppen*

Photo: Logan Weaver

If you’re like me, I don’t devote nearly enough time to my pre and post-workout routines, however this is something I’m striving to get better at in 2021. Your pre and post-workout routines are just as, if not more, important than your main workout. Everything from what you eat or don’t eat before you workout, stretching, your exercise clothes, etc., are just some examples.

Here are a few tips I have learned along the way and what you might find helpful when establishing your own routines. Also, it’s important to note that some of these tips that have worked for me, maybe won’t work for you, so I encourage you to do what’s best for you and your body. 


Pre-Workout

  • Food – For me, I need to eat something in order to have energy to workout, however I know some people choose not to eat anything before working out, so it’s a matter of personal preference. If you do eat before your workout, make sure to keep it light and choose foods that are mainly carbs and some protein. If you workout in the morning, some good breakfast choices include, eggs, oatmeal, protein smoothie, and whole grain toast with peanut or almond butter. If it’s later in the day, you may opt for some grilled chicken and vegetables. Just make sure you don’t eat too much before a workout, since a full stomach could make you nauseous. Also, after eating, allow yourself 30 minutes to an hour for your food to digest before jumping into your workout.
  • Workout clothes – Make sure you are wearing the proper workout clothes and shoes for the workout you’re doing. For example, if you’re running, make sure you have a good supportive running shoe.
  • Warm-Up – Get your muscles and body warmed up with a 5-10 minute walk, stretch, jog, etc. This also prevents you from pulling a muscle or another injury. 

Post-Workout

  • Stretch, Stretch, Stretch! – I’m definitely guilty of not devoting enough time after my workout to stretch, but this is such an important step that we often skip. Even if you only have 5 minutes to stretch, this is better than nothing. The worst part is not doing anything, which can leave your muscles feeling fatigued, stiff, and sore and puts you at risk for injury.
  • Hydrate – Make sure to hydrate after your workout. You need to replenish what you lost during exercise. 
  • Food – Since you just burned calories, it’s important to not wait hours before eating again. You should eat a healthy snack about 45 minutes after you exercise. 

What are some of your pre and post-workout tips? Leave your comments below.

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