Your Ex­er­cise Check­list

Prevention (USA) - - PULSE -

These three things seem sim­ple, but they’re very im­por­tant must-do’s each time you work out, says Brian Ze­het­ner, di­rec­tor of health and fit­ness at Planet Fit­ness.

PRE-WORK­OUT

Warm up for five to 10 min­utes. “Far too many peo­ple skip this step, which can make ex­er­cise more un­com­fort­able and lead to in­jury,” says Ze­het­ner. Walk on a tread­mill, do some jump­ing jacks, or do other light car­dio— this primes your mus­cles by in­creas­ing heart rate, blood flow, body tem­per­a­ture, and flex­i­bil­ity.

DUR­ING THE WORK­OUT

Stretch. It’s just as im­por­tant to stretch through­out your rou­tine as be­fore and af­ter. “It in­creases flex­i­bil­ity, which makes move­ments eas­ier and more fluid, and it also sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacts your bal­ance, co­or­di­na­tion, and agility and can re­duce your chance of get­ting hurt,” says Ze­het­ner.

POST-WORK­OUT

Re­cover. Chug­ging lots of H20 is great for re­hy­drat­ing, but it’s also im­por­tant to re­plen­ish car­bo­hy­drate and elec­trolyte stores in your body to help with mus­cle de­vel­op­ment and re­cov­ery, says Ze­het­ner. His go-to (and tasty!) re­cov­ery drink: choco­late milk, which con­tains an ideal combo of carbs and pro­tein.

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