“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” – Ben Franklin, but probably also someone on Twitter.
Here at KrankFIT we. go. HARD. The intensity of the workout is one of our defining features. We push each and every person in class to their limit, and honestly, it makes us all better. But all the progress you’ve made could be undone in a moment’s notice if you don’t come in ready to go, having done the necessary preparation before class. Over the next three months, we’ll be focusing in on the importance of three things that are essential to preparing for a tough workout: stretching, hydration, and resting.
“Hey wait a minute – you just talked about that in the November blog, didn’t you?”, you say to yourself.
And you’re right, we did talk about it just a couple of months ago! I assure you, though, this was not an accident, it’s a statement on how critically important these habits are. So let’s take a look to at why each one is important with a different perspective so we don’t get bogged down in all the wordiness of the science behind it. You’ll have to take our word on that one.
First up is everyone’s favorite reminder – STRETCH. Anyone’s body can become more flexible no matter your fitness level or age. We have come to learn that stretching needs time! Flexibility comes when you set aside a workout for yoga, pilates, barre class or your own practice at home. It helps repair, invigorate and restore your mind for your next cardio or strength workout. It even makes your muscles respond quicker and improve endurance. Stretch after a workout is super important. Chill out on the strength floor at KrankFit. Or take a shower at home and stretch while you wind down before sleep. Remember these things: Never stretch a cold muscle. Muscles don’t give into a stretch until after 10 breaths or 45 seconds. And last but not least even stretching just 3-5 minutes after a class EVERY TIME goes a long way for your next workout.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget that hydration is critical to a healthy workout. Dehydration is no joke – just ask anyone who has experienced the side effects of neglecting proper hydration during vigorous physical activity. It’s miserable. Just awful. When doing high intensity exercise like we do at Krank, it’s important to be aware of how much sweat you’re putting out and how important all that water is to your body. Think of your body as a bank that gave you a loan. It definitely wants that loan back (and with interest!) so be sure to drink plenty of water. There’s no consensus in the medical community, but a good baseline to set is eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which comes out to around half a gallon. The National Academy recommends ¾ for men, and ⅗ of a gallon for women so don’t be shy, grab a water bottle and start chugging.
And now for the crowd favorite – getting quality sleep and rest. Sleep is essential to maintaining a functioning body and preventing yourself from becoming a danger to others. Research suggests that sleep deprivation can resemble the effects of being intoxicated and cause you to pose a danger to yourself and others. We probably don’t need to tell you this after a good workout, but please, please, please be sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep as often as possible. Think of it in the same way you would charge your phone at night – we all know the pain of waking up and realizing that you left it unplugged overnight while you snoozed. Don’t inflict that on your body.
Over the next three months, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the importance of each of these elements to keeping your body in tip-top shape. Working out is obviously important to retaining your best physical form, but working out alone is only part of the equation to looking and feeling your best. So before your next Krank class, be sure to show up rested, stretched, and hydrated!