We see it all the time. People get so focused on all the gym dos and don’ts that they forget to realize all the pre-working out dos and don’ts. We are giving you now 5 things you shouldn’t do right before you hit the gym or that at home workout session. So you don’t ruin your workout or risk injury.

1. Don’t eat the wrong foods or starve yourself

I know we all know that going swimming after eating a heavy meal is dangerous. However, what most people don’t know is eating a heavy meal before your workout is just as dangerous. Granted, you won’t die drowning in the gym but you could cramp while lifting heavy weights that could fall on you causing possible fatal harm! I know, that escalated quickly. But, seriously heavy meals are a big no-no before you exercise.

Same goes for working out on an empty stomach. An efficient and effective workout session requires sufficient fuel so your body can do its best. During your workout, your body will first start using carbohydrates to fuel itself which then allows fats to burn the longer you exercise.

Do this instead

Make sure you wait at least 2 hours before you start working out to ensure optimal physical health during gym time. A healthy snack like fruit or a handful of nuts is great to have 30 mins before your workout session

 

2. Don’t do the wrong stretches

Pre-workout warmup is crucial, however, you need to make sure you’re doing the right stretches. If you stretch your muscles statically when they’re cold, they could tear or you can pull a muscle. When your muscles are not elastic, you are way more prone to getting injured while working out.

 

Do this instead

The best stretches are done through rhythmic movements when you’re warming up before your workout. You can do anything from jogging, knee raises, or even gentle jumping jacks.

 

3. Don’t take painkillers

This one honestly left me scratching my head when I first heard about it while doing the research for this article. Apparently, some people take painkillers before they hit the gym in anticipation of the pain they’ll be in afterward. While that may seem like a genius idea for post-workout soreness, it’s actually really bad for you. Painkillers can act as muscle relaxants, and you don’t want your muscles relaxed while working them out. You want the opposite. Relaxing your muscles before you train won’t give you the results you want and could lead to injury. Taking over the counter meds like Ibuprofen could cause “exercise-induced small intestinal injury” and put your gastrointestinal tract at risk of gut barrier dysfunction. A since a healthy gut is one of the biggest factoring affecting a healthy body, you want to keep it in tip-top shape.

 

Do this instead

If you’re on any kind of pain medication for health reasons, skip the gym on days you’re taking them. If the pain you’re treating is chronic, speak with your physician and your trainer about a safe way you can stay on track of your fitness journey without injuring yourself.

 

4. Don’t drink too much water

Staying hydrated along the day is definitely something you should strive to achieve. What we’re saying here, is that you shouldn’t drink too much water right before your workout as an attempt to make up for all the water you didn’t drink all day. This could put you at risk of a very serious (yet rare) condition called “Hyponatremia”. It’s basically when your kidneys can’t process all the water you just chucked and lowers your level of sodium (electrolyte). What this will do is make you feel weak, tired with no energy and could even cause cramping.

 

Do this instead

If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, you can set an alarm every hour to drink a glassful. This will help you to get accustomed at least to the idea and then after a while, drinking will just become a part of your daily habits.

 

 

5. Don’t always start with high-intensity cardio

So many gym goers believe that you have to start with cardio no matter what your workout agenda is. That’s usually not the case. For instance, if you plan to lift weights, you definitely shouldn’t engage in a high-intensity cardio interval training right before. This could cause your body to use up all its energy, which will make lifting weights particularly difficult on your muscles.

 

Do this instead

Right before you start lifting, you can warm up and prepare your muscles with a short light cardio workout.

 

Now you’re prepared to have a safe and efficient workout session. If you’re not a gym goer and more into at home workouts, here are 5 workout videos you need in your life. Spread the love for exercise and send this to your gym buddy.

 

Other workout related things you might like:

How to take care of your skin before and after the gym

5 Ways to commit to your workout