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Why You’re Doing Your Post-Workout Routine Wrong

So you’ve had a great session at the gym and you’re feeling good. What do you do next? For most of us it means flopping down on the couch and vegging to some Netflix. Unfortunately, that also means we’re not getting the most from that workout. If you want to change that, here’s how:

Stretch it out

It might seem obvious, but the value of stretching out after a workout can’t be underestimated. Doing just ten minutes of it after exercise prevents any stiffness or soreness in your body by the time you get home, which helps you relax later. It also stops lactic acid from building up, which in turn makes your muscles feel tired and sensitive. This soreness can last a while, which will just make you feel less motivated when it comes to your next workout.

Stretching regularly also helps increase your flexibility, and a more flexible body means a more efficient workout. A great way to incorporate this into your gym routine is to take a yoga class after exercise. This is a great way to stretch and relax after an intense session, and it even tones your muscles as you go!

Refuel your body

It might be tempting after a workout to satisfy your cravings and treat yourself to some fries. You’ve earned it, right? Unfortunately, we all know this isn’t the best option for you. What your tired body really needs is to re-energize. Protein powders are a great way of getting a quick hit of amino acids, which help your muscles recover after a heavy session.

If you’re feeling hungry though, there’s a variety of options that are both healthy and tasty. Beetroot has recently been touted as a great post-gym snack, and can be bought pre-made and in lots of different infusions. Combine this with some turkey and cheese or some hummus on pitta bread, and you’ve got a snack that’s good for you and delicious!

Cool down

When you’re exercising, your core body temperature can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot! So it’s important to cool down after a workout. A common way to do this is with 5-10 minutes of some light cardio, or even just by walking home from the gym.

Another great way of doing this is by taking a cool shower after your session. Not only does this bring your body temperature down, but it also lessens inflammation in your muscles. This in turns helps speed up your body’s healing process, leaving you fit and ready for your next workout.

Rehydrate yourself

It might seem like common sense, but rehydrating is often not done right. Your body loses a lot of water through perspiration during exercise, so it’s crucial that you replace this. Experts recommend drinking 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes of completing your workout to effectively re-energize your body. It might be tempting to go for a sports drink instead, but remember these still contain a lot of sugar, so check before you buy.

It’s important to push yourself in your workout and get the most of what your body can do. However, it’s just as important to help your body recover afterwards to keep you happy and motivated. Stay hydrated, stretch out, and make healthy choices for your post-gym snack, and you’ll be full of energy for your next workout!