Many of us have a perfect workout routine, or probably you just a sports athlete. We start with warm up exercises, stretching, bending, and working on the entire muscles of our body with cardio or weights training programs.
But after the last exercise, we often get back to the locker room, get change, and start our journey home with tired and breaking down muscles.
Take a notice that the workout is not actually over yet.
What we do afterward is as important as the workout itself.
The post-workout phase is time to repair our muscles, to build and grow strength and to recover the whole body.
Jenn Burke, a professional trainer, once said that a sudden stop in some physical activities could lead to blood pooling in the legs and your blood pressure might drop that you could get dizzy later on.
After lifting on your last set or running fast on machine, you should do some yoga poses or light cardio to bring your heart rate back to normal – about 100 beats per minute.
Some breath related-problems such as shortness of breath can easily put your health at risk. Walking on a treadmill with average speed (about 5m/s) for 5 minutes is also a nice and easy way to cool down.
Going straight from the cool down into stretching phase is often advised by many professional trainers – and sometimes they are the same.
Stretching allows your muscles to relax as well as to reduce soreness, and thus growing bigger and stronger. It also helps to recover the flexibility and the range of motion (source: tonebodyfit.com).
Unlike the stretch you perform during warm-up, after practicing exercises, you had better hold the stretches from 10 to 15 seconds each for the best result.
And one more thing, a good stretch is the balance between pain and discomfort, so do the stretch to where you feel uncomfortable but not hurting.
The body sweats a lot to cool itself during your exercises, that’s why you always need to provide water for muscles to continue working.
After an intense workout, replenishing your body is still in need to decrease muscle soreness, increase strength and avoid getting dehydrated.
So bring a bottle of water with you every time you go to the gym or cardio/ yoga classes, and make sure you’re drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
In the same as rehydration, your body will urgently in need of fuel for recovery. Not only have burned hundreds of calories and lost carbohydrates during exercises, you have also actually broken down your muscles.
One of the most popular post-workouts nutrition is the protein shake. Lots of trainers recommend athletes getting a glass of protein shake 15 to 30 minutes after working out, when the metabolic window is open, to kick-off the muscle rebuilding and replenishing process.
An ideal recipe is about 3 grams of carbohydrates for each gram of protein, or a ratio of 1:1 carbs to protein if you are trying to lose weight.
If you are not familiar with a protein shake, an egg sandwich on wheat bread or a glass of chocolate milk is a perfect replacement.
Take a cool shower and get change
Taking a shower after workout is beneficial for decreasing the inflammation and starts the healing process as soon as possible.
To make it more effective, it is highly recommended that you turn the shower temperature down that is lower than as usual and then add any of your favorite bath products that can help you relax.
Even if you don’t have time to stay under the shower, clean your body with a towel and change the wet shorts and sport bra into a nice and clean set of clothes.
It’s very important because the sweaty clothes after your workout are the home of millions of germs and bacteria that can lead to skin infection or breakouts.
By making sure that your body has been warmed up and worked out as well cooled down appropriately, you can now maximize the results you’re working out on your body.
Fitness is a lifestyle, let’s get it right and you can enjoy all benefits that a real workout can bring to you.