We often pay more attention to our exercise and sometimes our diet when we are trying to stay fit and healthy most times we forget the other important little things such as things to do before a workout and things to do after a workout. As unimportant as it may seem, our post workout habits play a very huge role in our fitness journey. It is not enough to just perform exercises and go rest.
We have to ensure that these exercises actually have effects and our efforts are not in vain. Exercising makes use of your body muscle and puts a major strain and a lot of work on them. If appropriate measures aren’t taken, this may lead to serious injuries. Some healthy post workout habits you should do are:
1. Cool your muscles down: some exercise videos and plans come with a warm up before exercising and a cool down after exercising. Your muscles become taut and contracted and they need to be stretched out. It is important to perform light stretches or simple yoga poses to stretch these muscles and avoid injuries.
2. Hydrate: it is important to stay hydrated during and after your workout but more after your workout. Due to sweating, your body has lost water and electrolytes and these need to be replenished immediately. Take 2 – 3 cups of water. For exercises longer than an hour, electrolytes and carbohydrates in sport drinks help. Coconut water may also be used as a substitute for sport energy drinks.
3. Soak in a hot bath: soaking in a hot tub is really good for those sore muscles. It helps relieve muscle tension and relax those muscles. You could also bathe with warm water and Epsom salt in absence of a hot bath.
4. Protein packed snack: your body loses its energy and glycogen leading to a low blood sugar level and fatigue. It is important to eat the right thing after exercise. It is very easy to fall towards carb rich food but while these may increase your blood glucose for a while, they contain empty calories and after a while, the energy will be depleted and you’d crash down. It’s best to eat a protein packed food along with carbohydrate for example, peanut butter sandwich. They help replacing glycogen stores. Bananas are also good post workout meals as they contain magnesium which help in protein synthesis in the body and lead to muscle growth.
5. Ice compression and elevation: pressing an ice bag towards the joints and muscles decrease pain and reduces swelling and inflammation.
6. Have a refreshing bath: when exercising, your skin pores open up to allow sweating and also to remove toxin from the body. It is very important to bathe immediately after to wash of these toxins from your body. Also, not bathing may lead you to look unkept and have an odor.
7. Rest: your body needs time to gain its energy back. Don’t rush things and go do something strenuous without properly resting. Take your time to do things.
8. Drink green tea: green tea helps fasten the healing process as well as ensure all your muscle mass isn’t eaten away.
Post workout routines may seem difficult at first if you are not familiar with them but after a while it becomes a habit. Remember that pre-workout habits are just as important as post workout habits. These habits ensure that you maximize the effect of your exercise as well as reduce injuries and inflammation so that you will be able to perform more exercises during your next workout session and not be limited by what your body can do.