After an intense training session, sometimes all we want to do is collapse – but that’s not the best thing for your body! Some people think that a good fitness routine just looks like getting in a sweat, but your routine shouldn’t end there. Just like how you prepare for a workout and what you eat can impact your performance and progress, what you do post-workout will also impact results.
After a workout, your body and mind are in a fatigued state. Your heart rate has risen, adrenaline is pumping, and your muscles have torn. Exercise is a shock to the system. When you’re done, the body must work to return to its normal state, so the habits you have post-workout can either hinder or help this recovery process. If you want to get the most out of your training sessions and help your body and mind refuel, it’s best to practice a post-workout ritual that will help you achieve these things. Here are 5 post-workout habits that you can start practicing to boost recovery:
We know it’s important to warm up to prepare the muscles, cardiovascular system, and lungs for exercise. Similarly, it’s important to cool down to allow these systems time to recover and regulate.
Cooling down after you workout gives your heart rate and blood pressure time to gradually decrease. It also helps to remove toxins, like lactic acid, that may have built up during exercise. Cooling down often means slowing down movements and reducing intensity before coming to a stop. This can then be followed by some static stretches that will promote relaxation, increase blood flow, and improve range of motion.
After you’ve built up a sweat, you want to replenish the liquids you’ve lost. Dehydration is very dangerous and can contribute to muscle fatigue or even lead to dizziness and heat exhaustion. Good hydration assures that your energy levels stay balanced and that your body and mind are functioning normally.
Hydrating after a workout will also help with recovery as water regulates your body temperature and restores minerals that may have been lost while exercising. Drinking water will help lubricate your joints and transport nutrients throughout your body.
3️. TAKE A BATH
Not only does taking a bath calm the central nervous system, unwinding your body and mind, but it can also stimulate healing. The warm water from a bath helps increase blood flow, reduces inflammation, and improves oxygen intake. Adding Epsom salts to your bath is another great way to relax and soothe your muscles.
4️. SELF MASSAGE
Although we all would probably love to get a massage after every workout, that’s not always possible. However, there are various techniques for you to relieve muscle pain and tightness at home.
The reason a massage feels so good after a workout is because it helps improve blood flow and circulation. This in turn helps reduce muscle soreness, stiffness, and inflammation. Foam rolling or using a massage ball to roll out muscles are just some effective ways you can find myofascial release at home.
A healthy sleep schedule can make or break your training results. Getting enough sleep is crucial for recovery because sleep is when your body repairs itself. When we get quality sleep, the release of the body’s growth hormone is at its highest and this growth hormone is what helps build and recover muscles.