What You Should Be Doing After Every Workout
You already know the many incredible benefits of working out. Whether you go for a jog every morning, ride a bike, swim, or lift weights, exercise can do incredible things for your physical and mental health. It’s not just what you do during your workout that matters, though.
If you’re like most, you’re in a hurry when you finish your workout. Whether you have to get to work, you have errands to run, or you have to pick up the kids from school, you rush to your car and go about your day. In doing so, you’re missing out on a crucial part of exercising. Here are six things that you should be doing after each workout.
Stretch Your Muscles
Right after the end of your workout, you should go into stretching. At this point, your muscles are still warm. As a result, they’re more pliable. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and range of motion. Doing so can keep your muscles from seizing up, reducing muscle pain and soreness later.
When you exercise, your sweat. This means that your body is losing water. Losing too much can lead to dehydration. In addition to drinking plenty of water before and during your workout, you need to rehydrate after you’re done. Water will help to lubricate your joints, regulate your body temperature, and ensure proper post-workout recovery.
Shower and Get Changed
When you’re in a hurry to leave the gym or take off on your errands, you might just choose to go in your athleticwear. This presents a few problems. One of the most obvious is that you might smell after a hard workout. Another problem is moisture. Sweat can saturate your clothes and cling to your body. This can promote bacterial growth, which can result in acne or skin infections. Before heading out, take a shower and put on a fresh set of clothing.
Address Sore Muscles
Sometimes, muscle soreness happens. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to ease the discomfort and improve your recovery. Place a heating pad over your muscles. The heat helps to improve blood flow and ease muscle tension. Massage your sore muscles. Add Young Living Essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint to a carrier oil and massage the area gently.
Eat a Snack
Your body uses nutrients during your exercise routine. After your workout is complete, you need to replenish those nutrients. Don’t just snack on anything, though. You can’t complete a workout and then indulge in ice cream or cake. These types of foods can negate the effects of your workout. The right foods after a workout will help to replenish your energy stores and aid in proper recovery. They can even help to boost your performance for your next session. Consider snacks like:
- Toast and peanut butter.
- Low-fat Greek yogurt and fruit.
- A banana with almond butter.
- Tofu scramble.
- A fruit smoothie with greens.
- Carrots and hummus.
You need to give your body time to recover. While it might seem like doing more will yield better results, but doing too much can be detrimental to your progress. If you don’t let your body recover, your muscles won’t be able to heal properly. You may notice that your performance suffers. You may not be able to run as far as you did the previous day. You might struggle to lift weights you usually do with ease. Avoid working out the same muscle group two days in a row or schedule a lighter routine after an intense one. Taking a day off can be beneficial as well.
While you might be in a hurry to get on with your day, do not skip your post-workout routine. Find a way to fit it into your exercise schedule. With a good routine in place, you can reduce muscle soreness, boost your recovery, even help you to more effectively achieve your desired results.