While exercising daily, it is imperative to keep your muscles healthy and strong. Not only will healthy muscles improve your overall health, but it will also help your athletic performance. Here are a couple tips to help you start caring more for your muscles! When you learn how to properly care for your muscles, your body will thank you for it. Warm-up and cool down: Warming up before a workout is crucial. Add a slow walk or jog to the beginning of your routine, as it prevents injury while also raising your body temperature to prepare for exercise. Usually a 10-15 minute warm-up is enough before you start. Cool downs after a workout are also helpful in bringing your breathing levels down to normal again. It also can decrease any chance of fainting or feeling ill after a hard workout. About 5-10 minutes is enough for your body to go back to its normal state. Watch the video below to learn more about the parasympathetic system that will help you bring your heart rate down to your normal levels. Don’t be afraid to invest in a deep muscle massager to roll and stretch out your muscles for some added TLC. Pay attention to your pace: Before any sort of race training, it’s important to find a comfortable running pace. Knowing your pace will help you train more efficiently, as well as keep your body in tip-top shape for any upcoming races. Running is cardio, which in turn sparks quick muscle gain. In order to keep those muscles, you have to work on running at a pace you are most comfortable with. Nutrition: What you eat affects your muscle growth, function, and health more than you think. Make sure you’re including unsaturated fats (olive oil, fish oil, walnuts) to aid in muscle recovery, protein (meat, seafood, eggs, peanut butter) to replenish what your muscles lose during a sweaty long workout, and carbs (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) to release insulin so your muscles can create new tissue. Drink water: Believe it or not, water has several health benefits you may not know about. Water provides electrolytes that help strengthen and build muscles. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you’re a woman you should be consuming about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day, while men should be drinking about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids. Don’t forget! Being active can dehydrate you, so don’t be afraid to add a couple more cups onto your daily intake. https://youtu.be/2m5uyamZblw Comment below what you do to keep your muscles healthy and strong!