You finally finish your workout! What you decide to do next can have long-term implications to your performance, your health and your weight loss. Are you sabotaging your training goals by making these simple blunders? Here are 3 essential truths that you will learn:
- Nutritional refueling is a must to maximize your performance, wellness and weight loss strategies
- Active Dynamic stretching can actually improve your strength, power and muscular endurance
- Dehydration can negatively impact every facet of your performance and your quality of life
How many times do we see clients walking on a treadmill while reading a book, and then going to Starbucks and sucking down that Caramel Frappuccino like their effort in the gym was so deserving. Refueling is more than just a necessity for athletes training hard, it actually takes careful planning. But lets make sure the intensity of the workout was deserving of your post-workout smoothie.
Nutrient timing is a science that explores the implications of what you eat and how quickly you eat after a workout. It was designed to make sure that you are achieving your workout goals by consuming the necessary nutrients. Intense training, especially weight training, sprinting and HIIT turn our bodies into nutrient vacuums. They want and need nutrients to help the rebuilding and repair mechanisms within our body. During this time, our muscles crave glucose, and start storing it or using it as a fuel for recovery. In addition to that, our post-workout protein consumption ignites our muscles protein synthesis mechanism.
Although nutrient timing can be an asset to help us achieve our body composition goals and refueling strategies, research also shows that eating well throughout the day is probably more important to your overall body composition goals than simply just focusing on nutrient timing post-workout.
Stretching is definitely not a sexy term when you are talking about body composition analysis or weight loss measures. Research has shown that while static stretching may not help prevent injuries, increase overall strength, or reduce muscle soreness after working out, it does have some benefits.
Stretching can be extremely important to quality of life measures. Many people have desk jobs and sit all day long, limiting their hip flexor and quadriceps flexibility. This can lead to low back pain, hip pain and altered biomechanics, which can create unnecessary strains on other muscles that wouldn’t necessarily be prime movers if your flexibility was adequate. Static stretching can promote healthy circulation, enhance range of motion and flexibility as well as reduce stress.
Most static stretches attempt to isolate a single muscle. Fascial stretching on the other hand, engages the whole myofascial system. Understanding fascia is an important step to understanding movement and soft tissue pain . Fascia is like the saran wrap of our bodies. It looks at the connection between the muscles, as well as their neighboring joints, tendons, ligaments and bones, and a multitude of other functions. This has some serious performance and health benefits that will take much more time to dive into. Stay tuned in future posts to really understand this concept.
Another form of stretching called active dynamic stretching can improve strength, power, muscular endurance, speed, stability and overall coordination patterns. This type of stretching is similar to what most athletes do before competitions, and they utilize it to prime the body for the movements that they will encounter in their respective sport. You will see football players, baseball players and track and field athletes all perform active dynamic warm-ups before going out and competing. Active dynamic stretching can even serve as part of your workout if done correctly. The benefits of this type of stretching includes:
- Increases core body temperature
- Increases heart rate
- Improves flexibility
- Increases nervous system stimulation
If you are not yet convinced, try performing active dynamic stretching before your workout or static stretching after your workout for a solid 30 days and we guarantee your body will thank you for it.
Water may be considered one of the world’s most fundamental nutrients for life. Therefore, a lack of water within the body is capable of negatively impacting nearly every activity that we try to perform. Since the perception of thirst is an inaccurate indicator of the need to consume water, dehydration has become a common ailment that often goes unnoticed until its too late.
The more energy you expend, the greater your fluid needs. When working out, maintaining fluid balance is critical for peak athletic performance, regulating core body temperature, lubrication of your joints and helping to transport nutrients to their respective locations. If your urine is clear or light yellow, you’re in good hydration status. But, when your urine is yellow, bright yellow, or brownish in color, that’s when dehydration is a problem.
When you realize that the body is at least 60% water, you can start to understand why hydration is on the top 3 list of workout blunders. Try incorporating at least ½ of your body weight in ounces of water per day on days that you are not working out (120 lbs = 60oz of water). Workout days will require more water, so bring a bottled water to the gym and drink up to maximize your fluid needs.
When trying to achieve peak athletic performance, maximize your overall health, or even try to lose body fat and weight, it is important to consider these variables. They will will assist you in reaching your goals. By incorporating proper post-workout fueling strategies, stretching routines and hydration status, you can keep your body functioning optimally.