Your Exercise Checklist
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.
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.
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.