When you’re in the zone, you probably focus all your attention on the workout itself. But what you do afterward is just as important. You must recover fully and properly after each workout if you want to get into a healthy routine. There’s only so long you can push yourself before you burnout.
Eating after a workout is essential as you need to refuel your body and give it the nutrients it needs to recover. Protein bars are a popular choice because they are easy to carry and contain all the amino acids your muscles need to heal. Protein bars may also help preserve lean muscle and encourage fat burning instead.
Some people crave salt after a workout and a snack like salted almonds or a few black olives can help to replace any salt lost. We might all be used to hearing that salt is bad for us but it is necessary to replace it if you have done a lot of sweating. Without the right levels of salt, you risk muscle cramps and you may feel shaky.
Drinking plenty of water during your workout is important to avoid dehydration but you should also drink plenty afterward too. If you want to double up your snack and drink, a smoothie is a good way to replace nutrients as well. Making your own is really easy and you can add a scoop of protein powder or a spoonful of peanut butter to boost your protein too.
If you are prone to headaches after working out, you probably aren’t drinking enough. Try sipping water during your workout and drinking beforehand too. You may also be low on salts so a sports drink could be beneficial.
The best time to stretch is after exercise because your muscles are warmed up and a little more flexible. This means that you can hold your stretch a bit longer and go a bit further too. Stretching is also a good way to cool down gradually.
Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, regardless of whether you workout regularly or not. If you have a sedentary job, stretching can help relieve back pain and general aches from spending the whole day sat down. You don’t need to do yoga or pilates, just a few basic stretches can really help to lengthen your back and lengthen your hamstrings.
Pushing yourself during a workout is a great way to build your stamina and strength but you need to look after yourself afterward. Eating well, drinking plenty and doing a few stretches while your muscles are warm will help your body recover and prevent a post-workout slump. Plus, the better you take care of your body, the more you will be able to put into your next workout.