Your post workout is just as important as your workout, so the last thing you want to do is make a bad habit out of forgetting the post-workout details.
Here’s a top 10 Post Workout Habits List to Add into your Exercise Routine
1 – Drink Water – Lots of it. Try to avoid the coffee shop or the soda craving while the first thing your body needs after a workout is to rehydrate. The only way to obtain this goal is to drink plenty of water. 20 ounces is the recommended ‘dose’ but you can never OD on water so long as you drink it slowly to avoid stomach cramps.
2. Rest – Ever notice how those yoga folks find time to complete a resting sequence at the end of a workout? This allows the body to integrate and recuperate any energy that was depleted during your exercise routine. Take note too that muscles repair themselves in rest. Just 15 minutes of sitting or laying down restfully and completely can rest your whole system and gives your body the chance to recover.
3. Eat Something! – Try bananas for their loads of potassium which is a key form of electrolytes which will help prevent cramps and muscle spasms. You should plan to eat no more than 15-30 minutes post workout in order to replenish the nutrients you’ve just expended. Consider adding pumpkin seeds to this snack for their 5 grams of protein per serving. They are also full of phosphorous, manganese, zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron.
4. Breathe – This might be considered another technique borrowed from the yogis at the other end of the gym. Breathing should be simple, right? Right, but you need to be fully mindful and aware of the oxygen you are bringing into your body. Try to be aware, yet in a resting state so that your body is in a position to recuperate. Take your time and allow yourself to breathe deeply until your breathing returns to normal.
5. Replenish (Electrolytes) – After a hard workout, you’ve obviously been sweating a lot and this means you have depleted your potassium and sodium levels significantly. These minerals are meant to keep your body hydrated so it’s very important to restore them, immediately. Skip the energy drinks and try coconut water. It is stated that coconut water is one of the most hydrating fluids to be consumed post exercise and many athletes swear by it.
6. Stretch – Stretching is important before and after a workout but take note that a good stretch, post workout, is just like another minor little workout. Again, consider yoga. These stretches are meant to enhance your muscle structure and help you to remain aligned with your body. Any fitness guru will tell you that stretching is just as important as the workout itself.
7. Massage – Either from a therapist or through SMR (self myofascial release), a massage is a great way to help the muscles heal and remove scar tissue.
8. Shower – Especially if you’re working out in a public gym, there are simply germs everywhere. You don’t want to start touching your phone, your face, or your steering wheel with filthy hands. It’s just a good way to get sick, which can become a vicious cycle in that you’re going to miss future workouts while in recovery.
9. Warm Up – In addition to massage and stretching, it’s important to keep your muscles warm after a workout. Some gymnasts recommend wearing pants and long sleeves, and to keep moving after your workout. Of course, you can do this after you rest, or before, whatever works better for you and your muscles.
10. Avoid Alcohol – Sometimes it’s inevitable that you’re going to workout just before a dinner out or other evening time event. If you’re going to be drinking alcohol after a workout make sure to rehydrate with water, electrolytes and a healthy snack before drinking. Alcohol dehydrates the body, and fast, and should not be the first thing you introduce to your body post workout. Also practice moderation, alternating between an alcoholic drink and water throughout the night.
Finally, you’ll need to decide which order and sequences are best for your workout routine. Talk to your trainer, if you don’t have one, get one, at least temporarily, in order to better prepare yourself for the correct way of doing things.
Make sure you’re maintaining a healthy diet outside the gym and even on your ‘off’ days. Always drink plenty of water and try to avoid sodas and other carbonated type beverages. With these tips and a healthy workout plan, you’ll notice the results you’re hoping for in no time.