So you’ve taken up fitness classes and you’re looking forward to all the brilliant benefits of exercising, but what should you be doing before you exercise? Here is our ultimate guide to preparing for your fitness class.
Eat Right Before Your Fitness Classes
First up, you need to make sure you’re fuelling your workout. Unless you’re doing a fasted workout, you need to make sure your body has the food it needs to work properly.
Ideally, you should aim to eat a small meal or snack that includes both carbohydrates and protein. The carbs will give you the energy you need during your workout, whereas the protein will help keep you full and will also help with building muscle. Ideal snacks include yoghurt with a bit of honey, bananas with a teaspoon of peanut butter or a protein bar.
If you decide to use a personal trainer, they should also work with you to ensure that you are eating to complement your fitness programme.
Hydrate like an athlete
In order to be hydrated during exercise, you need to be drinking water throughout the day, not just knocking back a few litres in the hour or so before you exercise.
Hydration is really important, whether you’re doing cardio classes, such as Zumba, or weight training, as water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy.
Training the mind
One of the best ways to help you exercise well is to make sure you are in the right frame of mind and don’t see it as a chore. Ensuring you are doing something you enjoy, that you are well rested and that you are also wearing something you feel good in (as well as being comfortable for exercise) are all important things to master before you step foot in your fitness classes.
Some people may even find breathing exercises, positive visualisation or mindfulness techniques useful.
Stretch like a champion
If you want to maximise the effectiveness of your workout and reduce your chance of injury then you need to make sure you stretch properly. Having a set stretching routine of at least five to 10 minutes is essential for making sure that your muscles are well-prepared for the task at hand.
You should stretch every area that you are planning to work on and hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds. However, don’t stretch to the point of pain.
The most important thing is finding an activity that you enjoy and will stick at. Working out with a group of people can help you stay focused, so why not book an exercise class such as Zumba, yoga or Pilates? If you feel like you’d benefit from one-to-one sessions, we can help you find a great personal trainer in London.