You’ve spent 10-15 minutes preparing for your workout. You’ve chosen appropriate workout clothes, prepped your upbeat playlist and off you go to the gym.
After a rigorous 45 minutes on your workout session, after all the sweating and grunting, you feel good about yourself. A total of 60 minutes allotted for the workout preparation and workout itself is already enough, isn’t it?
Whilst the pre-workout and workout itself are important, post-workout needs equal priority as well. You should never dismiss the significance of post-workout.
If you want to maximise the results of your workout sessions, do these things as soon as you finished your last workout rep.
You put your muscles into heavy work when you’re working out. It’s normal for most people to feel sore after a training session.
Spending 5-10 minutes of stretching after your workout will give your muscles the ability to recuperate faster. You see, your muscles are contracting when you’re lifting weights. They remain contracted for some time even after you finish. You only have full recovery when the muscles have recovered back their length.
Stretching makes your muscles expand and recover faster, helping you feel rejuvenated despite an arduous workout.
Stretching also helps you to be more flexible. Who doesn’t want greater flexibility?
2. Use a foam roller
Foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, is a type of self-massage that helps in releasing trigger points or muscle tightness. Once only used by coaches, professional athletes and therapists, this technique is now becoming common practice.
Why is using a foam roller important after your workout?
By applying pressure to specific trigger points you expedite the muscle recovery and help them return to their normal function. It tenderizes your muscles by breaking up tight muscles, and helps in allowing your blood flow to function normally again and assist in the restoration of healthy tissues.
3. Drink water
You often hear advice about drinking plenty of water.
Whilst there’s no question of how important water is to our overall health, drinking water after working out is necessary as well.
You lose fluids when you sweat through your workout. Drinking water is an excellent way of staying properly hydrated as it replaces the fluids that you’ve lost. Cool water will also help you in restoring your body temperature back to its normal level.
Aside from ensuring you’re hydrated, drinking water after a workout also improves weight loss. As it helps you to feel full, you won’t be tempted into unnecessary eating. Being dehydrated is a big no-no for your metabolism, so make sure that you drink water after your workout to boost your metabolism.
4. Take a shower
Hitting the shower room after your workout should never be missed. Aside from hygiene and sanitation, taking a shower after exercise has many benefits.
It helps you in recovery as taking an ice-cold shower prevents delayed onset muscle soreness. Showers can also help you lose weight as a they increases your metabolism. Being exposed to cold water after workout also increases the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system.
5. Eat some protein
Is protein after exercise necessary?
Eating protein aids in the recovery and growth of your muscles. After a gruesome workout, your muscles deserve a treat.
You can get your protein fix from a glass of chocolate milk, hard boiled eggs or a whey protein shake. Don’t get carried away though, as more protein does not necessarily mean better. You only need 10-20 grams.
6. Track your progress
Most people overlook tracking their progress. The time that you spend at the gym does not correlate to the amount of progress that you’re making. By keeping track, you have a better view of your standing compared to your fitness goal. This gives you more determination and focus in achieving that end goal.
There are several methods of tracking your progress but keeping a log is one of the simplest yet most important. Having a journal will help you assess how certain training methods affect you.