You completed a hard workout. You are feeling scrumptious and strong. Good for you! Now is the time to put a shiny bow on that hard work. To ensure that you are reducing the chance of injury, burnout, etc. – follow these 5 post workout steps for a solid workout wrap-up.
Stretching is not only good for those stressed muscles, but it helps you ease out of an exercise session. Breath deep while you stretch the muscles you worked. Slow your heart rate and focus on bringing oxygen back into your body.
Create your own stretching routine to do after each workout. I do, without fail, a set or two of 5 different stretches. I’ve hand-selected them from workout videos and from YouTube.
I don’t know about other people, but I usually feel like I could eat a horse after I’m done working out. Dreams of pizzas and cheeseburgers, milkshakes and homemade pie float through my head while I’m on a run.
I try not to eat these things right after I’ve been good and burned calories, but I’m human too. In order to appease the hungry belly, I try to have healthy snacks ready and waiting when the hunger strikes. I’m always looking for quick and easy.
Some good options are – bananas, apples, yogurt and berries or granola, a yummy sandwich, cheese and whole wheat crackers, or a protein shake. Protein aids in muscle repair and carbs will re-energize.
Personally, I try to drink during an exercise session so I never get dehydrated. However, this isn’t always possible. It’s a good rule of thumb to grab a quick glass of 8 to 10 ounces of water after you work up a sweat.
Instead of rewarding myself with chocolate, or another type of sweet treat after a hard workout, I like to pamper myself without the additional calories. A warm bath in Epsom salt to soothe achy muscles. A foot rub with lotion to keep the runner’s callouses away. Or sometime, a quiet hour on the couch with a good book.
It’s always important to get a good night’s sleep. I know, I know, it’s tough. But so worth it. Your body does amazing things during rest. It can repair and heal injuries, muscle soreness. At the least, try to get a solid rest after a tough exercise session.
Are there other items you have on your post-workout to-do list?