A daily workout practice is an importance part of any healthy lifestyle. In implementing this lifestyle correctly, it’s important that we prepare for it correctly. Replacing the wrong pre-workout practices with the right ones can help you get the most out of every bike ride. Here are some of the most common practices to quit doing before your bike workout.
Practices to Quit Doing Before Your Bike Workout
- Eating vegetables and fatty meat – A diet of mostly meats and vegetables is a great decision. Your pre-workout meal, however, should be an exception to this. Before your bike workout, you want to get your energy from calories that your body will digest quickly and easily. This means food with lots of refined carbohydrates and as little fiber and fatty protein as possible. Try small meals like protein bars or whole-grain toast with peanut butter.
- Cleansing or Fasting – While you don’t want to eat the wrong foods, you still need to get calories in your system. Any intense ride on an empty stomach will make you dizzy and quickly fatigued. Be sure to at least eat a small meal like an energy bar or a banana before you ride.
- Drinking too much water – Everything in moderation. When you chug multiple full bottles of water before you ride, you’re going overkill in your attempt to stay hydrated. Your stomach and liver can only process so much water at any given time. When you drink too much, you put your body in a state of “hyponatremia,” making sodium (electrolyte) levels in your body unsafely low. This will cause you to fatigue faster, and will almost always cut your ride short.
- Static Stretching – While you should warm up before any workout, static stretching should be reserved for post workout. All of your-muscles will still be tight before your ride, so all your stretches should be gentle and dynamic. Gentle, meaning done slowly and well within range of your outermost mobility. Dynamic, in that the muscles you are stretching are in motion rather than still. Instead of your typical hamstring stretch, for example, try leg swings.
Working out is like any other aspect of your life. It you want to be success at it, you had better be prepared for it. Preparation is as much about what you don’t do as what you do. By avoiding the above habits, you can help ensure you stay healthy can don’t plateau.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Frederick M. Dudek is a cycling enthusiast and a San Diego personal injury attorney dedicated to bicycle safety and helping the victims of bicycle accidents.