When we finally get the motivation (and time) to jump on the treadmill, we might fill up the water bottle and do a quick warm.
But the steps you take after your workout are just as important! So before bolting for the shower, add these four essential activities to your routine, to maximise the benefits of exercising.
1. Cool Down
Contrary to what most people think, cooling down is different than resting. When you seek to cool down, you still continue performing a physical activity but at a slower pace and with lower intensity. So cooling down simply means that you slow down in your workout. This will allow your heart rate to go down in a slow and gradual manner preventing you from feeling sick. Aside from this, the lactic acid that builds up in your muscle cells during exercise can make you experience soreness and pain. It’s important to cool down for at least five minutes after your workout. Walking on the treadmill is one good way to cool down.
2. Eat Up
If weight loss is your main objective in exercising then eating right after a workout may seem like a bad idea. However, if you wish to help your body recover from the workout and ensure that you are able to exercise efficiently next time then you will need to have a post workout snack or meal. After a strenuous workout, not only do you burn a large number of calories but your muscles and other tissues in your body also become damaged. In order to help these tissues recover, you will need to eat food within a short time after your workout. The best post workout meal consists of protein and carbohydrates.
3. Body Massage
Getting a body massage is also one of the best things you can do after a hard workout. A massage improves your circulation, therefore allowing the nutrients in your blood stream to reach your muscles. These nutrients are necessary for muscle recovery. A massage also prevents muscle stiffness and soreness that you typically experience after a workout. When your muscles are aching, it becomes hard for you to perform your workout on a regular basis. A post workout massage also boosts your range of motion and flexibility, which allows you to become more efficient during your workout.
4. Drink Water
Naturally, you also need to hydrate yourself after a tough workout. Your body loses a lot of fluids while you exercise and it’s important for you to replace them. If you tend to lose energy while you are working out then you should also make a habit of drinking water during the exercise. The more you sweat during your workout, the more water you should drink afterward.