Many of us took the lockdowns of the pandemic as an opportunity to use our time wisely, and possibly added a regular workout to our schedules. But if you’re new to working out you may not know what to do after a workout for the best results. Here is a guide on post workout routines so you can stick to your regular workouts and avoid giving up.
Try To Cool Down First
Many people have bought a portable hot tub for the sole purpose of relaxing their sore muscles after long and hard workouts. However, the extra heat will cause your body to get more dehydrated and your muscles would still be too inflamed for proper recovery. The better option is to take a cold (or at least lukewarm) shower immediately after your workout to help your body cool down first and lower your heart rate. Help your body cold down slightly before the shower by performing low-level cardiac exercises, like walking slowly on the treadmill for a few minutes. You can get in the hot tub later.
Replenish Your Body
Drink lots of fluids (preferably water) after your workout to allow your body to rehydrate. Avoid sports drinks – regular water has all the electrolytes you need without adding all those empty calories. Also, think of a healthy snack to restore your energy stores. Again, avoid high calorie foods and don’t fall for sports protein bars. You’re better off munching on some almonds or eating a banana.
Stretching Is Essential For Recovery
Men in particular, tend to ignore the benefits of proper stretching after a workout. Ideally, you should stretch any muscle while it is still warm and inflamed from the stress of the workout because it will be more elastic. This will not only help your flexibility, but it will help your muscles recover faster and reduce soreness that is associated with long workouts. Many stretching exercises are also designed to help with your balance, which will be beneficial in the long run.
Change Into Fresh Clothes
This is something that is practically common sense, but many people leave the gym in the same clothes they came in with, and that’s after showering. Your gym clothes are probably full of sweat and your skin would want to breathe a little after an intense workout. So make sure you have some loose fitting clothes to change into after your cool down shower.
Heat Rub For Particularly Sore Muscle
If you feel the need to massage your legs or any other large muscle in your body with a heat rub after working out, you can do it after showering. A heat rub can help alleviate some of the pain of sore muscles. Make sure you aren’t focusing on the same area on the next workout day – ideally you should have a method of rotating muscle groups. You can also use a hot tub to relieve your sore muscles when you’re rehydrated and cooled down.
It is important to realize that the road to increasing your fitness level requires attention to what you do during, before, and after a workout. Our post workout tips will help you workout regularly with ease.