In this feature we explore pre and post workout tips for helping you maximise the benefits of your workout.

As gyms reopen post lockdown, many of us are in a rush to return and with the best intention to maintain an exercise routine long term. Friend of ethos Pat Divilly offers up the following advice around maintaining a workout routine long-term:

‘There are a few key things I think are worth considering when it comes to maintaining our motivation for exercise on a long term basis. Firstly I have my clients look to develop leverage by exploring all of the benefits that will come with this lifestyle change. This is about making the goal compelling and something we feel we ‘get to’ do rather than something we ‘should’ do. If I initially asked a client why they wanted to develop a consistent exercise routine it is likely they will say to lose weight or get fit. I am interested in going beyond this and having them recognise all of the secondary benefits they will see e.g. improved confidence, sleep, energy levels and mental wellbeing amongst many other benefits. These can help the client see just how much of an impact this change can have on their experience of life.

The second thing I ask my clients is to explore the question “How can I make this fun and easy?” This is a way of getting creative and thinking beyond our current approach which may have been unsustainable or uninspiring in the past. Maybe rather than at home workouts, an at home dance class or yoga class would be more inspiring to you. Remember the best plan is the one you can stick to. Finally, although we of course hope for the best, I encourage clients to prepare for the worst by outlining any potential challenges or problems they might face on the journey toward their goal followed by brainstorming how they will respond if these challenges arise. This ensures rather than an inevitable challenge arising and throwing us off course we are clear on how we will respond and see it as something on the way and not in the way’.

As soon as you’re ready to get going, we recommend you try these pre and post workout tactics to maximise your workout benefits:

Pre Workout

  1. Warm Up: this will get your heart rate pumping and will promote blood flow to all your muscles. This could help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury
  2. Nutrition for Energy Supplies: it’s important to fuel the engine (your body) about 90 minutes before your workout so you have enough energy to see you through your workout. Foods like bananas, oats, nuts, fruit & yoghurt are great natural sources of carbohydrates that will slowly release energy into the body
  3. Supplements: coffee, pre-workout and other synthetic supplements could have unwanted side effects like stomach upset, skin tingling, headaches and more. CBD could be a good natural alternative without these unwanted side effects by helping with any existing aches and pains and may offer stress or anxiety relief prior to starting your workout.

Post Workout

  1. Cool Down and Stretch: this will allow your heart rate to slow down and by stretching will ensure your muscles don’t tighten up. Take 10 – 15 minutes to cool down after your workout. This could be stretching after a weights workout or jogging lightly after a run.
  2. Nutrition for Muscle Repair: sweating from exercise dehydrates your body, so make sure you’re rehydrating by drinking plenty of water after your workout and throughout the rest of the day. This also restores the electrolytes in your body which are essential post workout for preventing fatigue, muscle cramps and the breakdown of protein in your muscles. When we workout our body uses glycogen for energy, which comes from carbohydrates. Therefore, it’s important to refuel our glycogen levels with carbohydrates post workout so we’re ready when our next workout comes around. Straight after a workout, your muscles are seeking a protein to replace the breakdown of muscle protein. By consuming a fast-acting protein source like a shake, your body absorbs the nutrients it needs and kick starts the protein synthesis process that helps your muscles grow. CBD could have potential anti-inflammatory benefits to support muscle recover after exercise too.
  3. Sleep: a key factor in maximising your post workout benefits is getting a good night’s sleep. While asleep, your body does a lot of work repairing your muscles. If falling asleep is difficult for you CBD oil could help. If you are struggling to sleep it is likely that cortisol is keeping you awake. Read about how to create a sleep ritual to help you drift off into a deep and restorative sleep.

If choosing a CBD product to accompany your workout routine we suggest ethos Balance oil which also includes peppermint essential oil and ashwagandha extract. Research suggests that incorporating ashwagandha as part of resistance training is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength.