The routine that you adopt after your workout session plays an integral role in achieving your fitness goals. You can feel more energetic, active, and prepared for your next round. Your post-workout routine can exponentially amplify the positive effects on your body.
A quality post-workout routine is one in which you give enough relaxation to your body by stretching and eating the right food. Following an active recovery routine will do a lot of good to your muscles and help their proper functioning.
An effective training program does not allow you to work out for long hours or without a recovery day. You can experience the following benefits from a post-workout routine:
- Works for increasing the flexibility of your muscles.
- Reduces the soreness in the muscles.
- Recover the muscles.
- Promotes the blood flow in the body.
- Helps in building the muscles.
- Rehydrates your body.
It is mandatory to pay attention to what you do right after exercising to maximize the benefits. The time after a workout ends is the most crucial time for your body in which it adapts to different changes accompanied by other recovery routines.
Your body recovery needs are highly determined by the intensity and duration of your workout. To maximize the benefits, you can make the best use of the following tips:
1. Remember to Hydrate – Always.
Rehydrating your body after exercising is necessary for so many reasons. During exercise, the body sweats often result in the loss of water and electrolytes from the body. This loss can impact the functioning capacity of the body if not replenished accurately and adequately. If the fluid loss is not recovered, it can quickly lead to dehydration, which is fatal.
The loss of fluids that your body experiences depends on the type of training you are doing and your working environment. To avoid the negative effects of dehydration, prioritizing fluid intake by using a post-workout drink is important.
For optimal performance, keeping a water bottle with you during your exercise will help as drinking water at this point will compensate for recovering the loss. Apart from having water, having sports or malted drinks can greatly impact your workouts of longer durations, and they eventually speed up the recovery process.
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2. Cooldown Your Body After A Workout
Everyone loves to sit or preferably lie down after a long workout session. The body gets so drained that one cannot even imagine being involved in some other session. But, the truth is a cool down or a quick body stretch after a workout can be highly beneficial for your body. It also makes you feel better, and you can be more flexible.
During exercise, the body systems work at a higher rate, so it is necessary to put your body in the resting phase after exercising. For the healthy functioning of your body, it is important not to miss a cooldown session as it comes with a lot of benefits.
3. Give Glycogen To Your Body.
Carbohydrates are the basic nutrient that is responsible for providing fuel to your body during exercise. The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles. As it is the main energy source, the levels get below normal, and it becomes essential to recover it by having a carb meal after exercise.
To recover the glycogen, a food that is rich in refined carbs would be the best choice. The meal combined with other food choices such as proteins can help in the effective storage of glycogen to the body. The subsequent recovery of glycogen after exercise helps in improving the performance and speeding up muscle recovery.
Eating a carb-loaded snack right after exercise can increase the storage process of glycogen in the body. Apart from doing well inside of the body, it also gives you the energy to feel better.
4. Get Some Proteins
Proteins are the building blocks with all important amino acids that help in the repair, growth, and recovery of muscles. Proteins are also necessary for increasing muscle mass.
Depending on the type of exercise you are doing, it is necessary to adjust your protein needs. Getting the right protein in your body will work to gain more muscle mass. The healthiest protein choices include eggs, chicken or turkey, fish, grilled lean meat, cottage cheese, low-fat milk, kidney beans, or chickpeas.
A food with a relevant carb and protein ratio after a workout can help speed up the recovery and reduce muscle damage. Consuming protein is important to regulate your various body processes, metabolic reactions, and transferring vital nutrients to different organs, which accounts for the health and well-being of the person.
5. Strategically Plan Your Rest Days.
Everyone loves a rest day. You will not want to work out for straight seven days as it feels tiring and stresses your body. Other than that, working out without a rest day is also not good for your body muscles as it might be a sign that you are overtraining and doing no good to the body. So it is important to have a rest day in which your muscles can recover.
Overtraining syndrome is when a person experiences a lack of sleep and a declined performance level. The main reason for this condition is the lack of a rest day in the exercise regimen. It is mandatory to give yourself a break from your exercise routine to avoid this condition.
To make the best use of rest days, you can involve yourself in light exercise or a simple walk so that your muscles recover actively. Make sure to have a rest day after three or more regular days of working out.
6. Opt For A Supplement
A good-quality supplement that covers all basic nutrients needed in the recovery phase is a must-have. They are a great way to recover the post-exercise damage and play a key role in optimizing your workout performance.
The ingredients in these supplements specifically target your muscles and provide them with a smooth supply of nutrients. They help in reducing the soreness in the muscles, which helps in recovering post-exercise damage.
These supplements also help you to perform in a much better way in your next exercise session. More importantly, supplementation is another great way to make up for the micronutrient deficiencies and contribute to health improvement.
7. Get An 8-hour Sleep
Your body is in a state of rest and recovery when you are sleeping. The body replenishes all losses during sleep. The quality of sleep is an important factor that can affect the functions of your body. If you do not rest for adequate time, there will be a negative effect on your body.
A lack of sleep also hinders your performance capability. It makes you less focused, and as a result, it is unable to achieve your targeted goals. The muscles also grow and repair at a faster rate when your body is in a deep sleep.
A quality sleep cycle will help in overcoming the stress that your body might be experiencing. A night of good sleep also promotes more synthesis of glycogen which then promotes your performance in different exercises. Different hormones work and carry out processes inside the body when a person is sleeping. Make sure to sleep on time for optimal performance of the body.
8. Enjoy A Cool Shower
Your muscles will recover and regenerate at a rapid rate because of cool water. The cooling properties of water help in reducing the soreness of muscles. Showering after a workout also reduces the amount of sweat and lessens fluid losses in the body. A cold shower followed by some cool-down exercises would be a treat to your sore muscles.
A cold shower has beneficial and good effects on the normal functioning of the body. Research has shown that a cool bath can help avoid building excess heat in the body if you are working out in a hot environment. It also has good effects on cardiac health.
A bath after a workout feels good to the body and makes you feel fresh. It is also a good way to lighten your mood and cool down body functions, which will help recover muscle damage.
9. Get A Good Massage
A massage after exercise has been shown to speed up muscle recovery to the maximum extent. Massaging different muscles of your body is a great way to give some quality rest to your body. It also relieves the tension in the body, which comes after a hard or prolonged workout.
The body also gains immense flexibility due to regular massaging, which helps improve the performance of the body. According to research, it has been seen that massaging helps in achieving balance and reducing exercise-induced muscle pain.
A good massage helps reduce the risk of injuries as it supports the muscle recovery process in the body. During your rest days, massaging your body will help in performing exercises in the best way. According to research, it has been shown that using a foam roller can help in reducing the soreness induced by an exercise.
10. Do Not Forget To Stretch.
Stretching is important for good and quality health. Stretching your muscles increases the blood flow to different organs, which is useful in your recovery period. You will also experience the more effective movement of your joints and muscle groups because of stretching.
Another important benefit of stretching is that it helps in the improvement of your posture. A good stretch enables you to perform your exercises better and minimizes the risk of injuries. Following a healthy stretching routine will play an important role in muscle recovery.
A post-workout stretch works to produce a beneficial effect on the body. If you do not stretch after a workout, your body will likely experience more stiffness and pain in the next workout session. Using different techniques combined with functional equipment will assist in maximizing the post-workout benefits.
We often find ourselves searching for what to do after a workout session. A healthy and steady post-workout routine can do much good to your body. It prepares you to get the best out of exercises and to improve your performance for future exercises.
The time after you finish your workout is most important for recovering your muscles. Giving the right nutrients, having a recovery drink, and practicing a good routine can maximize the post-workout benefits. The post-workout recovery routine can yield the best results for your body.
- Naderi, Aynollah, et al. “Massage Enhances Recovery Following Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Older Adults.” Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, vol. 31, no. 3, 2021, pp. 623–32. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13883.
- Ivy, John L. “Regulation of Muscle Glycogen Repletion, Muscle Protein Synthesis and Repair Following Exercise.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, vol. 3, no. 3, Sept. 2004, pp. 131–38.
- Barr, S. I. “Effects of Dehydration on Exercise Performance.” Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology = Revue Canadienne De Physiologie Appliquee, vol. 24, no. 2, Apr. 1999, pp. 164–72. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1139/h99-014.
- Ajjimaporn, Amornpan, et al. “Effect of Cold Shower on Recovery From High-Intensity Cycling in the Heat:” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 33, no. 8, Aug. 2019, pp. 2233–40. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000003017.