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How to Do Post-Workout Recovery Right: 6 Tips for Better Fitness Results

If you’re putting time, money, and effort into a great workout routine, then expand that effort into recovering from a hard workout. It’s very important to get the biggest benefit of the work you’re putting into your body and fitness. If you’re taking your workouts seriously, then you need to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of a good post-workout recovery and take it just as seriously. Here are a few tips to use during your post-workout recovery to get the most out of your workout sessions.

Post-Workout Recovery

You Need to Cool Down

As you end your workout, it’s important you don’t get through your last set and just stop. The cool down is an important part of the workout because it allows your heartrate to return to its resting rate gradually. This has the effect of avoiding the feelings of light-headedness and dizziness that can sometimes accompany the end of a workout. Give yourself five minutes to slowly lower the intensity of your workout to properly cool down.

Don’t Forget to Stretch

Once you’ve finished your cooldown, it’s time to stretch out those muscles. You should do your stretches while your muscles are still warm to help elongate the muscles and relieve tension. It serves the purpose of preventing some of that next day stiffness and soreness and helps promote flexibility and range of motion.

Do Something Light on Rest Days

On your rest days, try and avoid doing no exercise at all. Instead, opt for a brisk walk, some time in the swimming pool, or even some flexibility and core building yoga. Doing some light work on rest days is called active recovery and it can help with the avoidance of lactic acid building up and generally help your body recover from your workout days.

Post Workout Fuel is Important

That old saying is true - you absolutely can’t out-exercise a bad diet, so focusing on what you fuel your body with is as important as the workouts themselves. Choose a good supplement that is targeted to your specific goals (weight loss, muscle building, or similar) and supplement that with a balanced diet. A balanced diet should contain good proteins and low GI carbohydrates, along with plenty of nutritious vegetables. Do your research about diet and get it right.

Cold Showers are Your Friend

If you’ve watched any sports movies, you might see the athletes suffering through ice baths or cold showers, and there’s good science behind this. You don’t have to go to the extremes of an ice bath, but a cold shower provides great post-workout benefits. It’ll go a long way to prevent inflammation and muscular soreness and tension, and some claim that it also helps with sleep when it comes time to hit the sack.

Sleep Properly

A good night’s sleep is severely underrated when it comes to post-workout recovery. You should aim to get a good 7 to 9 hours of sleep depending on your age. Most importantly, you should do everything you can to practice good sleep hygiene. Make sure your bedroom is cool and that no ambient lights and noises can disturb you. Also, avoid eating or drinking leading up to your bedtime, other than something like this sleep drink. Put away any phones or devices before you lie down too so that they aren’t a temptation when you close your eyes. 

Your post-workout doesn’t need to be complex or involve a lot. Strive to keep it simple and focus on practicing good diet, hygiene and exercise between your hard gym sessions. Remember to warm up before you start and cool down once you’re done and you’re already going a long way to maximizing your fitness.

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