Your workout may be done but the work is far from over, now the recovery begins. It’s just as important what you do post workout as what you do during and before. I’ve outlined the most important aspects to post workout recovery and rituals you should try to incorporate to your own routines. Just a few minutes after each workout can really make huge differences in your recovery, overall health and fitness abilities.
A proper cool down is so crucial to your workouts and one of the most overlooked and ignored aspects to fitness. It’s a bad idea to finish a workout and immediately plop down on the couch or jump in the shower. Our body needs to slowly get back into its normal resting state so you can recover properly. Proper cool downs will help prevent muscle soreness and increase healthy blood flow to promote muscle rejuvenation. Its as easy as walking around the block once to slowly cool yourself down and casually get back into your normal rhythm.
Too many people don’t stretch before workouts let alone afterwards. Both are crucial, but we all should be stretching before hand to reduce injuries and afterwards to promote healing. Not stretching after a workout can cause muscle tightness, which can eventually cause a muscle tear or strain. Reducing the tension in your muscles also helps them remove lactic acid, which helps with recovery.
Keeping a record of your workout while it’s still fresh in our minds is important so you can track your accomplishments. The key to working out is not getting stagnant, so you won’t plateau. I keep a journal and jot down all the exercises I did, how many reps and at what weights. If I ran or did cardio, I’ll keep track of that too so I can see how I’m progressing in my fitness goals.
You should be drinking water pre, during and post workouts to keep your hydration levels high and your body properly lubricated. Its super important to drink enough water after your workout, especially the first 15 minutes after you stop working out. Sure you may want a sports drink after a workout to replace electrolytes but those beverages also have added sugar, so of course water is the best bet.
Protein is so important to recovery; it should be eaten after every workout. Our body thrives off of protein and uses the amino acids found inside to fuel our recovery. Not enough people are eating after workouts to fuel recovery.
Shower after your cool down and stretch. It’s important to get all that sweat off of you since it carries so much waste. Wash all your nether regions and clean any wounds you may have encountered during your routines. Take notice of your body and you should start to see improvements.
Clean all the equipment you used whether it s at a gym or at home. Wiping your sweat off will help the spread of germs and bacteria. If you are using a home gym, it’s best to put all the equipment away during your cool down so you kill two birds with one stone.