Shaping up your body, doing cardio training, having six packs, a well-structured figure, it all has become so common these days. Irrespective of age and gender, people tend to work out regularly. But a very small number of people have the idea of what to do after a workout. This is something as important as the workout itself. So, to get the most out of it, don’t forget to follow some post-workout rituals.
Why Is It Important to Follow a Post-Workout Routine?
Many of us simply hit the gym for workout, then to the locker room and finally head back home. You might still be thinking why is it necessary to add more to the workout schedule? It is important because whatever you do right after the main workout, directly affects your health and the effects of the workout you’ve done. It deals with issues like muscle growth and strength, soreness of muscles and hydration level in the body.
What to Do after a Workout
When you are into any form of physical exercise, your heart rate rises. So, it is recommended to slow down a bit before winding up and opt for a five minutes’ exercise (low-paced) to cool down the heart rate to its normal rate. And keep in mind, what to do after a workout should be related to the same part of the body, which you were working-out on earlier
As you end your cooling exercise of five minutes, it’s time to roll around on the floor. Rolling on a foam roller may feel a bit painful but it comes with an array of advantages. It’s the best cure for any possible kinks or knots in your soft tissues. It improves blood circulation and above all it increases the level of flexibility in your body. 10 minutes of foam rolling each day can work wonders for your body.
Note: Foam rolling can be done before and after the workout.
Stretch your body to the point where it is not hurting you. It’s not just good for the mobility and flexibility, it also helps reducing the amount of lactic acid in the body. Stretching is particularly good for those who are heavy with a less flexible body. Besides relaxing our nervous system, stretching helps in muscle’s growth. It is highly significant to opt for stretching while your muscles are warm. Once your muscles are cooled down (within 30 to 40 min), there is no use of stretching.
Note: Cool down muscles tend to contract. And if you try to have some stretching with contracted muscles, you may end up with some muscular injury or soreness.
It’s Time to Rehydrate
Water is another important part of your post-workout ritual. Hydration causes the lubrication of joints and regulates the body temperature. Working-out is all about sweating and losing skin moisture. When you sweat this much, your body tends to get dehydrated. It’s good to drink about 2 to 3 glasses of water within two hours of exercising. The intake of water should be continued for the whole day long.
Recover and Refuel Your Body
What to do after a workout largely depends on the stamina and energy you have. Intense workout leaves your muscles in the most fatigued and damaged form. So, experts suggest opting for the recovery process by adding some fuel to reenergize your body. It’s good to intake some energy food within 30 to 90 minutes of workout. For that, you can pack some healthy snacks (containing carbs and protein) with you. According to experts, protein intake (protein shake) is the biggest requirement of the body after workout. Not just after a few minutes but throughout the day. The next 24 to 36 hours after workout are quite crucial for the intake of amino acids and protein. So, keep on adding them in your meals. Low-fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are some good sources of protein.
Note: No amount of protein intake can be specified. Most experts suggest 20 grams at least. But it may vary with each individual, keeping in view the size of the body and other fitness goals.
Get Rid of Soggy Clothes
The whole sweaty process of workout leaves you with soggy clothes. And no one can stop yeast and a fungal or bacterial growth in them. So, to avoid a bacterial infection, it is advised to change your clothes within half an hour (the sooner the better) of the workout. If you don’t have time to take shower (it’s a priority), simply clean the sweaty areas with a dampened towel. And pat dry the skin well, before exiting the gym. And make sure you are not wearing the same unhygienic clothes on the next workout day.
A Cold Shower
Inflammation and soreness are the common symptoms that we experience after a working-out session. Having a cold-water shower after it can be a real help. It refrains your body and muscles from inflammation and soreness. By cold water, we don’t mean cold as ice, but it should be colder than we use normally. And lastly, don’t forget to put on clean cloths.
Keep a Track of your Fitness Regimen
What to do after a workout is important, but keeping the track of the overall workout is equally important. You must have the knowledge of everything that you are doing. What you have gained, what lost, how much you have done so far? And what else you need to do? You must have the answers of all such questions. For that you can get help from smartphone apps or other devices like FitBit.