While many people take the time to prepare for a workout by warming-up, fewer may make the effort to do what they need to do following their routine.
Do the following five things as soon as you finish working up a sweat:
- Make time to cool-down. There are so many reasons why you should cool-down after exercising, though many individuals neglect this integral part of working out. Give your body the chance to slow back down, and return your heart-rate to normal before ending your routine. This also provides the body with adequate time to flush acids away from the muscles and joints, which could make you less stiff and sore the next day.
- Sanitize your station. Be conscientious enough to wipe down any equipment, gear, or machines that you work with, whether you are at a public facility or not. Sanitize your own hands before using the equipment and right away after, to cut down on germs and illness that can be spread through contact. This is a great way to prevent colds or flu at home, too, when kids might use your equipment and pass around germs from school.
- Hydrate. Drink water during and after your workout to prevent dehydration, which can increase muscle soreness the day after rigorous training or activity. Drinking water following your workout can also help to satiate hunger until you are able to eat a healthy snack or meal.
- Apply some pressure. Compression clothing can help after a workout with muscle recovery, circulation, and flushing toxins out of the body. The pressure of these tight-fitting garments helps oxygenate the blood and gets rid of metabolic wastes which can make you feel better after strenuous activities.
- Have a snack. It is important to provide fuel for your body after you work out, to replace what you have burned during your routine. Make sure to keep some healthy options on-hand so that you are not tempted by less-nutritious choices when you need a quick pick-me-up after hitting the gym.
Some great post-workout snack options include:
- Almonds are full of protein which is the foundation of lean muscle mass.
- A protein shake will have more impact if you enjoy it after your workout instead of before.
- Greek yogurt is loaded with protein which will restore and rejuvenate after an arduous routine.
- Whole-grain bread with peanut butter is not only full of protein and healthy carbohydrates, which will help energize you, but it also provides you with fiber that can be helpful with weight-loss, as it satisfies and keeps you feeling full.
- An omelet made with eggs, or egg whites, and sautÃ©ed veggies is a great way to recharge your battery after a strenuous workout.
Try implementing these five strategies into your regular workout regimen and see if you notice a difference in your performance and how you feel following your routine. Making time to cool-down after exercising, wiping down equipment to prevent the spread of germs, and arming yourself with plenty of water and nutritious snack options are simple yet integral parts of sticking to your fitness regimen and seeing results toward your training goals.