We all have good pre-workout and workout routines. We warm up, stretch, drink lots of water and work the whole body. But after the entire exercise, we hurriedly head to the locker room, change and rush home.
What we do not realize is that what you do after a workout really matters. You may have done lots of exercise but how you treat your body just after your work out has direct effect on your muscle growth, muscle strength, muscle soreness and keeping hydrated.
What then should you do to relax after exercise?
Even after you are through with your exercise, you need to keep your body well hydrated. Drink about 2 to 3 cups of water within two hours after you are done with your workout. Afterwards, drink water regularly to keep your entire body hydrated. You may not be thirsty, but you will still require to keep replenishing yourself so that you do not get dehydrated. Although there are some extremely nice tasting alcohol or fruit juices, it’s important to just drink water only so that your body regains the lost fluids.
After the last exercise, do not think that your work out is over! What you need to do is cool down. Even if you just did running, it’s important to do some light cardio for some few minutes. This slows your heart rate at a steady pace which enables you to avoid that feeling of being sick after a workout. You can just walk on a treadmill for about five minutes to help you cool down.
Eating is a very important thing after a workout. It’s usually the last thing to do, but it can never be overlooked. During the work out, you actually burn lots of calories, lose a lot of carbohydrates and tear your muscles. You will need to repair the torn muscles and increase your energy levels. Most experts recommend that one eats within 90 minutes of the workout, but the earlier a person eats, the better. Foods that are rich in protein and full of complex carbohydrates are the best. Complex carbs release energy slowly so there is a lot of time to burn them before they turn into fat. On the other hand, the proteins will aid in repairing your muscles.
Stretch and stretch again! This is one important way of cooling things down after an exercise. After a workout session, your muscles naturally contract. By stretching after exercise, you will stop muscles from shrinking. This lets your muscles to rebuild allowing them to grow bigger and stronger, thus letting you enjoy the full benefits of your efforts.
Your muscles also relax, increase circulation to tissues and joints and helps in getting rid of unwanted body by-products, hence reducing muscle stiffness and soreness. Stretching also increases mental alertness, so ensure after every workout, you stretch a bit.
After all the above, you can sit and relax with your favorite magazine. If you have subscribed to a beer club of the month, then this is the perfect time to pick up that magazine and enjoy reading it as your mind is alert and fresh. These after workout exercises are important to help you get the maximum benefits out of your workout.