Having a sound post-workout routine is as important as the workout itself. It kick starts the recovery process and helps bring your body to its normal state. To find out what to do after a workout and the benefits of a post-workout routine, read on.
Completing a workout is often perceived as the final hurdle of the daily exercise routine. It starts with a pre-workout meal, warming up and ends with the final rep of the final set of the workout routine. We often underestimate the importance of the post-workout routine.
In order to make the most of a workout routine, you need to bring your body back to its normal state of being. Take a moment to stretch your muscles, rehydrate, track your performance, cool down, and replace the lost nutrients.
Stretching of the muscles, both before and after a workout, has been the subject of many studies. Some of the findings contradict one another. However, post-workout stretching is beneficial and helps aid the recovery process.
During a workout (especially when lifting weights), the muscles contract and stay contracted for a while. Part of the recovery process is restoring the muscles’ length. Post-workout stretching kick starts the recovery by improving muscles’ flexibility. It also helps preventing muscle soreness and cramps.
A workout often results in fluid loss and dehydration. Water is an important element responsible for regulating body temperature, joint lubrication and transportation of other nutrients and waste throughout the body. Staying hydrated after a workout session is essential.
Track your performance
Take a moment to reflect on your workout and track your performance. You need to keep a record of your performance in order to progress and hit your targets. These records help you set your goals and measure your success.
Feel free to use fitness apps, spreadsheets or an old fashioned pen and paper.
Shower and cool down
Apart from the obvious hygiene benefits, taking a shower after a workout helps you cool down and take your body to its normal state of being. Alternate between hot and cold water to bring your heart rate down to normal levels, lower your body temperature and prevent muscle soreness and cramps.
After a workout, your body is capable of absorbing protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients more quickly. Have your post-workout meal (or shake) within 30-60 minutes of your workout to speed up the muscles’ recovery process.