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Trainer Tip: March 2017

March 1, 2017

It is that time of year again.  The sun is out, birds are chirping and everyone is awaking from hibernating from the winter cold to burst out to PR their 5k.  There is no substitute for hard work, but you should not go from 0 to 60 out of the gate.  These tips will get you back on track and help with your progress.

Eating properly before your workout is essential.  Never starve yourself.  A few hours before cardiovascular workouts fuel up with whole-grains in order to give you longer lasting energy to get you through your run.  Avoid anything high in “added sugars” because even though it will give you a quick burst of energy it will quickly bottom out leaving you sluggish and drained.  Eating properly afterwards helps with replenishing your carb stores as well as protein to assist with rebuilding muscle.

Stay Hydrated.  Along with eating before workouts you should also be drinking water in order to be hydrated during your exercise.  It has been shown that performance in cardiovascular and strength training decreases in a dehydrated state.  So, not only is staying hydrated good for circulation and temperature control but it helps maximize your performance.  Drinking after will help with recovery.

Stretching!  Static stretching has its place, but not before workouts.  Dynamic warmups related to your workout (ex. Body weight squats, high knees, slow jogs, before a sprint or hard run) have been shown to increase performance.  Save those static stretches to increase your flexibility and cool down for after your workout. 

Slow Down.  It’s been some time since your last run.  Start a little slower and a little shorter.  Then, ease your way back in with small increases.  This will save you from becoming so sore and tired that you can’t work out again for a week or more. 

Go Rest!  Rest is for the weak...  Wrong!  Resting is as essential to performance (if not more important) as the activity itself.  When you exercise you're causing tears in muscle fiber. Those muscles need time to build themselves. Plan some time off or do a little “active recovery”.  Lower intensity activity like walking, light biking, or easy swimming will allow you to get a little activity without doing more harm to those muscles. 

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