You may make the switch from a morning spin class to after-work runs with ease, but there are a few things that should be consistent in every workout. Find out what things you should always do during an intense workout session:
- Fuel up: Exercising on an empty stomach won't make you burn more calories, but it can make your workout much more difficult. Don't set yourself up for failure; eat a small snack beforehand in order to perform your best, but make sure it's the right kind of foods. Here is everything you need to know about choosing a pre-workout snack.
- Combine and save time: Even if you're just running on the treadmill, you can still make the workout more efficient. Add high-intensity intervals, weights, or inclines to all types of workouts to build muscle and burn more calories while you sweat.
- Stay hydrated: Exercising without being adequately hydrated can lead to fatigue and worsened performance and can be dangerous, especially as the temperatures rise. Make sure you have water readily available as you work out, and don't be shy about stopping to get a drink if you're feeling thirsty while you exercise.
- Cooldown: Don't skip out on the stretching part to save time. Stretching only takes a few extra minutes and will ensure that your muscles stay flexible and loose.
- Post-workout refuel: After exercising, you probably don't need to be told that you should eat as soon as possible. Having something with protein and carbs within two hours of your workout feeds your grumbling stomach as well as keeps your tired muscles strong. (After an intense workout, however, it's important to eat something within 30 minutes to help the body recover and reduce sore muscles.) For ways to refuel without undoing all your hard work, here are 10 post-workout snacks under 150 calories.
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