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6 Things to Do before Your Workout

by Sarah Kaminski
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When we’re thinking about starting to exercise, we usually think it’s enough to step into the gym or play a YouTube tutorial and just do what we’re told. However, good training starts before the actual training session. You need something to fuel your workout.

A good pre-workout routine includes meals, preparation, supplements, and other elements. These things help you perform better, avoid injuries, and achieve the best results. With that in mind, here are a few things to do before your workout to make it safer and more efficient.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Yes, workout preparations start the night before.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you are physically exhausted, you are more vulnerable to respiratory infections, and your balance suffers. In short, lack of sleep makes you too tired to exercise.

On the other hand, being well-rested means that you’ll be able to go through every sprint or burpee. It also keeps your hormones in check, so the effects achieved in the gym aren’t annulled by overeating the rest of the day. A good night’s sleep is essential after a workout, too, because it gives your muscles a chance to recover.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to change your habits. Here are some useful suggestions:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night, and set your alarm to wake up at the same time each morning — including weekends.
  • Relax before bedtime. For example, you can read a book or take a warm bath.
  • Avoid screentime before sleeping.
  • Create a sleep-inducing environment in your bedroom.

Be Hydrated

Drinking enough water is imperative for good health. Hydration plays an important role in the fitness routine as well because you lose plenty of water through sweat. Also, some pre-workout supplements, especially if they contain caffeine, can cause dehydration. They may neutralize your water intake, leaving your body dehydrated. That’s why you need to be mindful of keeping optimum hydration before, during, and after the exercise.

While it is usually recommended to drink eight glasses of water per day, this is highly individualized. How much water you need daily depends on your size, environmental conditions, sweat rate, and activity levels. Generally, you’ll want to start hydrating two hours before you start sweating.

Get a Pre-workout Snack

Your body needs fuel for the efforts ahead, and you get that fuel from food. Eating before exercising prevents fatigue, increases performance, and reduces protein breakdown.

An important thing to remember is that pre-training nutrition depends on the type of workout. If you’re doing cardio, avoid sugar. Eat nuts, salmon, or avocado instead. If you’re planning strength training, avoid fats. Have fruits, whole grains, or beans.

The timing also matters. For a morning workout, try to eat at least one hour before training. Your breakfast should consist of a light carb snack, such as a granola bar, banana, sports drink, and whole grain toast. If you’re having a large meal, try not to work out the next two or three hours.

Grab a Supplement

While they’re not a necessity, pre-workout supplements can give you an energy boost, heighten focus, and take your performance to the next level. Due to exaggerated performance claims and overwhelming marketing, it became very difficult to find the right supplement for you. Choosing the right supplement for your workout needs becomes easier when you know which ingredients have evidence-backed benefits. Some of them are:

  • citrulline malate
  • beta-alanine
  • trimethylglycine
  • branched-chain amino acids
  • caffeine
  • taurine

Take your supplements around 30 minutes before the workouts if you want to experience the peak of their effect.


If you don’t stretch before working out, you’re risking pain and injuries. Stretching reduces muscle tightness and tension, improves overall circulation, and prepares you for intense physical activity.

There are two types of stretching: static and dynamic. The former is best done after a workout, while the latter makes for the perfect pre-workout routine. Dynamic stretches include motion – usually bending, rotating, or back-and-forth movements. Proper dynamic stretching starts slowly and progresses to a full range.

As you’re stretching, make sure you’re maintaining good posture and focusing on deep, steady breaths. Feeling slight discomfort is normal, but stop if you’re feeling pain. Do your pre-workout dynamic stretching for about five minutes as part of your warm-up routine.

Ready, Set, Go!

Before you start exercising, review your workout itinerary. Know what’s expected in terms of sets, reps, weights, and rest time. This will help you prepare mentally.

Speaking of mental preparation, research says that music pumps you up and keeps you motivated while exercising. So, make your ideal playlist, having the tempo and rhythm in mind. According to research, tunes that have between 120 and 140 beats per minute (BPM) are the best for exercise, but that will depend on your preference.

So, now you have everything you need to begin exercising safely and efficiently. Put on some upbeat music, have your water bottle at hand, and have fun with it!

Sarah Kaminski
Sarah Kaminski

Hi I’m Sarah Kaminski, a freelance writer and social media marketer. I work with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.
I am delighted to share my thoughts here on CaribDirect and hope they resonate with you. Please let me know what you think of my posts and provide suggestions on topics you would like me to cover.
Twitter – @SarahKaminski10


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