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Don’t confuse this advice with a wild card to drink a couple of glasses of water a day. “If you’re thirsty before a workout, drink 16 oz. of water right before you start; may be add some electrolytes,” Williams says. They are helpful in preventing dehydration. “But don’t drink a lot at once because it will make you feel really full, not allowing you an effective workout.” In addition to having to go to the restroom all the time, your kidneys will suffer. They can process about a liter an hour. Making them do more than that can lead to hyponatremia. This is when the level of sodium in the blood is too low.
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People have thought for a long time that stretching before a workout is a good idea. This is true with only dynamic stretching, which literally means that you are moving as you stretch. This process is also called dynamic warmup. It’s designed to prepare you for exercising by increasing body temperature and range of motion. Static stretching, on the other hand, is when you stretch without moving. However, when you do that before you’ve exercised, you are risking injury because your muscles are still cold. Pulls and strains are common as a result of this mistake. Studies have proven that static stretching increases your risk of getting hurt.
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Depending on why you’re going to the gym, Williams says, doing cardio exercises for more than 20 minutes is not a good idea. If you want to build muscle, don’t do too much cardio, he says, because it tends to break down muscle tissue. But if your goal is strengthening the bones or improving your functional fitness, then there is nothing wrong with longer cardio sessions.
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This is true in general and especially when you’re getting ready to work out. When your body is under stress, even if you don’t realize what’s happening, it releases cortisol, which is a muscle-killer hormone. It tells your brain to store fat while it breaks muscle tissue. Also, thinking about whatever is bothering you means you’re not focusing on your technique. This can easily lead to injuries.
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If you partied a bit too much on Friday night, don’t hit the gym first thing on Saturday. “You can smell the alcohol coming out of them,” Williams says. Alcohol is a depressant – despite the fact that people drink it to release their inhibitions – it messes up your system. It may also have a lot of sugar which increases your insulin levels. Alcohol leads to dehydration, narrow blood vessels, and impaired motor function if you overdo it.
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Stimulants can enhance your concentration but they can also make you sick and cause rapid heartbeat. In addition to that, coffee, if it has caffeine, can lead to dehydration. Some studies have suggested that caffeine also increases catecholamines, which are stress hormones. In addition to stimulating cortisol, stress causes insulin spikes. They are blamed for inflammation causing you to feel bad.
“I am generally not a fan of energy drinks,” Williams says. They are simply not good for you. There is no reason to have one when you can do a fresh juice. “It has the same purpose but no sugar, and it’s more natural,” he adds. Plus, most energy drinks have too much caffeine which can lead to high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat. Even better than a juice, drink a protein meal replacement shake. It will boost your energy right away if you’re hungry. Your body will pull whatever is immediately it the blood stream to function, Williams says. “Just keep it simple: Protein powder with some veggies and fruits. Don’t add a lot of stuff and use simple ingredients,” he adds.
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You need sugar (carbs) to exert energy so you can actually train well. Eating a nutritious snack about 45 minutes before hitting the gym is a great idea. That quick meal should include carbs and protein which means berries, yogurt, banana, almond butter, etc. If you’re hungry and choose to eat actual food as opposed to having a protein shake or a smoothie, pick something with good fats and a lot of nutrients. A small snack of 200 calories will do. Anything more than that can cause stomach cramps, pain, or nausea. Your body will be preoccupied with digesting the food instead of getting nutrients to the muscles.
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The strictness of this rule varies with every person’s sensitivity to the process of eliminating toxins from your body. “I did a 7-day detox last month and I was able to do my usual workouts,” Williams says. “But I would not recommend it to someone who doesn’t know how to handle it.” In any case, doing 100 percent of your usual routine is not a good idea while you’re cleansing. Do some light stretching and nothing fast-tempo. Listen to your body and see what exercise you can do. “It’ll talk to you.”
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You need energy to workout and the only way to get it is by having proper nutrients. Food is the only source for them. So have some cereal with skimmed milk before a workout. Other good options include a banana, oats, nuts, yogurt and smoothies. Don’t even think about French fries or other processed foods with lots of saturated fat. Avoid meat and other heavy meals.
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“This is dangerous,” Williams says. You are in a room where the temperature is more than 100 degrees for 20-30 minutes. And then you start working out keeping your body temperature too high for longer than that. “You’re likely to overheat,” Williams adds. What follows is weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and headache. It’s very serious, and if you feel any of these symptoms see a doctor.
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This is true especially when it’s cold outside. Wearing too many clothes is dangerous because your body can overheat. As a result you’re sweating more but that makes you feel even colder when the temperatures are lower. Have you ever seen a runner in the park in the winter wearing a ski jacket? A light coat will do.
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Poor skin care before a workout is a major reason for breakouts and acne. Remove all makeup and relieve you face from all the chemicals blocking your pores. Always put moisturizer on. It has zinc which helps against hyperpigmentation and aging. Don’t forget sunscreen – UV rays can break though clouds and will still get you. Don’t forget to clean the equipment before using it. Touching the dirty surfaces with your sweaty bare skin is a recipe for acne because of the microbes that you have just transmitted onto your skin.
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If you think about it, this is a workout. So why do two training sessions in a row? You’re using a lot of energy. Also, oxytocin, which is a hormone the makes you feel happy and in love, is released. Who want to go huffing and puffing in a gym afterwards? You’re probably going to decide to stay home.