4 important steps in a proper workout.
Step One: Start with a warm up.
Warm-up is not stretching, as what we have been taught in schools. Start with light cardio work to warm up those muscles. Take about 5 to 10 min of lighter workout at the bike or treadmill.
When you stretch when your muscles are cold, you may end up spraining it.
After the warm up cardio, you may stretch if you wish.
Step Two: Actual Workout
You may now start with more intensive cardio workout. You should not do intensive cardio for more than an hour as it will deplete the critical glycogen storage in your muscles. After cardio, you may perform a bit of weight training.
Step Three: Cool-down- (light cardio)
When you do intensive cardio or weight lifting, lactic acid may accumulate in your muscles. The only way to get rid of it from your muscles- is by movement & circulation- so, just like your warm-up, you do light cardio for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step Four- Stretching.
Experience sore muscles or stiffness after your workout? Or having to endure sore muscles for few days after workout? I strongly recommend that you incorporate stretching in your post workout. Do not underestimate the power of stretching. Incorporate stretching after your workout and you will feel great- you’ll walk easier and it will lessen your muscle sprain or injury. I speak from my personal experience- this really works. For a good cool down, spend about at least 10 minutes.
Start with some leg and hamstring stretches. Do some sun salutation, triangle post, spinal twist, followed by waist and arms stretch. Or else, you can skip Step Three and Four and replace it with yoga/ Pilates class. Warmed muscles work extremely well with yoga and Pilates- you will find yourself sweating like you have never been before.