Winning 7 gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics, Mark Spitz knows the importance of looking after your body before and after a workout. Here are his top 5 fitness tips:

Stretch: Stretching before and after your workout is an essential part of any fitness regimen as a way to decrease the risk of injury, prevent soreness and improve performance.

Eat protein and good carbs before exercise: Fueling exercise requires quality carbohydrates, lean protein and fluids. Your muscles rely on carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables for a quick energy source. Protein is needed to build and maintain muscles and for healthy blood cells. Blood cells deliver nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.

Hydrate before, during and after exercise: Not only does being well hydrated improve your performance, it can save your life. Dehydration can make it hard to get the most out of your workout, and in extreme situations, can even be dangerous to your health. The more you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right amount of water before, during, and after your workouts.

Alternate your exercise: Start off easy in your exercise regime for the first 15 minutes. Increase the intensity with weights for the next 15 minutes. For the next 30 minutes increase and decrease your intensity with weights. Maintaining an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time via intense exercise will help you burn serious calories, which – when combined with the right diet – will create what’s called a negative energy balance. (See also our recommendations for what’s needed for a well rounded fitness routine)

Supplements: In addition to a healthy diet and frequent exercise, take supplements. Taking supplements enhances your body performance by producing necessary nutrients your body needs.