After you’ve put in the work, you deserve to see some results and feel good after. But you have to remember that the work just doesn’t stop after your actual workout! A lot more goes into what your body needs in order to get the most out of every single workout and enjoy a nice recovery of feeling rejuvenated and healthy. Read along to see what you need to do to get the most out of your post-workout recovery.
While stretching is important for you to not injure yourself during your workout, it’s also crucial for your recovery as well. Don’t leave that gym, track, or wherever you worked out before stretching, or even sitting down for that matter. A cool-down stretch is important so that you can prevent your muscles from getting sore or stiff after working them out vigorously. And don’t put it off until you get home, because muscles should always be stretched while they are still warm. We advise you to save and extra 5 to 10 minutes to cool down and do some static stretches after every workout. Stretching will elongate your muscles, give you more range of motion, and help you fight off any tightness or soreness that is expected after you’ve put your body to the test.
Aside from stretching your muscles, giving them a deep massage after a workout is a great contributor to your recovery. Whether you use your hands or a foam roller, massaging out your muscles can alleviate any painful knots that may have formed, improve your flexibility, and increase your blood flow. We’re not going to lie, this one “hurts so good.”
After a long, hard workout, chances are you sweated a lot of water out of your body, which is great! Sweating means that your body is cooling itself down from all of the heat you’ve been generating from all that hard work! But, if you fail to refuel yourself up with some more water, you can easily get dehydrated. Staying hydrated during and after a workout is key to a healthy and easier workout and recovery. Hydration helps regulate your body’s temperature and lubricates your joints, making it easier on your body.
Your body needs to refuel after all of that hard work you put it through. Regain that energy and feed your muscles what they need so that you can see some results from your workout. Protein is the key ingredient to repairing your muscles after a workout. During an exercise, such as lifting weights, your muscles get tiny tears in them in order for them to grow. The protein repairs those damaged muscles and helps your muscles get bigger and stronger. So whether you prefer a post-workout snack or are ready for a meal, make sure to add in some protein so that you can see the results after the workout.
Catch Some Z’s
Sleep is crucial when it comes to recovery. With an 8-hour requirement for anyone, athletes tend to need a little extra time so that their body can heal while it rests. While you are asleep, your body restores itself as your blood pressure drops and blood flow moves to your muscles and tissue. This gives your body what it needs to recover well after putting it to work.
While rest is important, a little active recovery can speed up your recovery process and get rid of that soreness a little faster. If your body is still a little sore a day or two after a hard workout, ramp up your body by doing a light workout such as a walk, swim, or bike ride. This movement will release that lactic acid buildup that you accumulated from that strenuous workout. Doing so will stimulate blood flow and create some circulation in your muscles, allowing the soreness to dissolve.