What is one thing most people don't consider when preparing for a workout?

Social physique anxiety is a concern a sense of difference in body type and attire preferences. Exercisers who experience social physique anxiety overemphasize the difference between their body type and the body types of others when in a fitness facility. Their perception is that they are more overweight and more out of shape than most others and then less able (capable) to participate in exercise.

Similarly problematic for people who experience social physique anxiety are situations where fitness facilities design exercise programs for people of similar body types. People in this situation do not feel comfortable being singled out.

Studies done on women in a group exercise setting and the clothes they wore revealed that women with higher social physique anxiety stood further away from the instructor and wore less revealing clothing. For these women standing at the back of a group exercise classes and wearing long, baggy exercise attire are strategies that women might use to ward off other people seeing and evaluating their bodies.

Social physique anxiety is a real problem for many people particularly those who are new to exercise. Try talking to friends or people at the gym about appropriate attire for an exercise environment and where to buy that clothing. People new to exercise may not know what attire is appropriate for exercise nor will they know where to buy the appropriate attire. For example, many people new to exercise do not know that wearing cotton is no longer the best material for exercise.

When preparing for a workout, most people do not consider how important it is to warm-up. Implementing a warm-up routine will prepare the body for exercise and help prevent injury. Include some type of self-massage and flexibility exercises for tense, tight, or knotted muscles, as well as light aerobic activity. To complete a warm-up routine, first start by releasing any unwanted tension in the muscles through a self-massage technique called foam rolling. Place the foam roller on the ground under your target muscle and apply your body weight. Slowly roll along the muscle line until you feel a tender spot. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds to allow the muscle to relax. Next, perform some stretches for muscles that you just foam rolled and any other muscles that feel tense or tight. Hold each stretch for approximately 30 seconds. If you are not sure as to how to stretch, ask a fitness professional at the gym to show the proper technique. Finally, increase your body's core temperature by spending 5-10 minutes engaged in some form or light, aerobic activity since cold muscles and tendons are more susceptible to injury. This is an important step in the warm-up routine as aerobic activity will help increase both oxygen and blood flow to the exercising muscles.

Picture of stretching exercise
Many people do not consider nutrition when preparing to workout.  Whether it is a pre workout fuel or nutrition during a workout, the majority of people do not consider what their nutrition should be.  People often believe that working out on an empty stomach will promote fat loss.  This is not the case.  You must fuel your workout for your body to properly burn fat.  Additionally, if you are working out over two hours, you will need to use fuel during your workout.  This fuel should be carbohydrates and can come in form of a sports drink, gel, gummies, fruit, etc.

Hydration is overlooked. I think most people know to do some kind of warm up and to have fuel for your body. Hydration is overlooked until exercise begins and thirst starts. Thirst often lags behind the body's need for hydration. By the time you feel thirst, you are most likely dehydrated. Losing as little as 1% of body weight in sweat can result in fatigue and weakness.

Drinking water should be part of your daily habits. If you know that you are planning to work out later that day, you should properly hydrate yourself in advance so that you are prepared for the extra water loss through sweating.

Ref. - Understanding Nutrition, 10th edition, Whitney & Rolfes, Wadsworth Publishing; (May 25, 2004)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.