After a tough workout it’s easy to just want to lay on the ground and collapse. BUT there a few things that MUST be done before that so that you can have the best results from your workout. I mean what’s the point of killing your workout, if you don’t take the necessary steps to ensure the full benefits after. RIGHT?! I put together a list of 5 must-do’s after a workout that will prevent injury, help muscles recovery, and make you feel amazing.
5 Things You MUST Do after a Workout
1. Cool it Down
This is probably one of the most skipped tasks after a workout. Properly cooling down allows your body temperature to lower slowly which prevents blood pooling. This mean blood doesn’t properly reach the heart to be re-oxygenated. Blood pooling can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting. Hopping on the treadmill, or just walking around for 5 minutes before you foam roll and stretch will allow your heart rate to slow down, and your blood flow to slow back down to normal.
2. Roll out Your Muscles
This is a MUST — and after you get used to it, it feels just like a deep tissue massage! Foam rolling or self-myofascial release is so important for many different reasons. It improves flexibility and mobility in your joints. It increases blood flow and circulation to your muscles for faster recovery. And it breaks up all those tight “knots” in your muscles. Foam rolling should be done before stretching to help break up tight muscle tissue. This will allow you to get deeper into your stretches, so you get gain even more flexibility.
3. Stretch it Out
It’s also super important that your stretch your muscles after you’ve foam rolled and before your muscles cool down too much. It takes about 30 minutes for you muscles to completely cool down. So you have plenty of time to foam roll, and get a stretch session in before getting too cool. So don’t worry about rushing anything. Stretching “cold” muscles can be dangerous for muscles because they contract when cold and can cause injury. Aim for about 5 minutes of foam rolling and then 5-10 minutes of stretching. This a totally do-able amount of time for even the busiest of #BossBabes! 😉
4. Refuel for Recovery
Now, it’s super important to make sure your refuel after your workout. After a tough workout it’s important to make sure you get the right nutrients to help with your recovery. You need just the right ratio of protein, carbs, and electrolytes to replenish what’s lost during your workout. My go-to post workout smoothie is an amazing option for post workout recovery.
The ratio of nutrients are great for recovery. The carbs give your body and muscles the quick replenishment and energy they need after a tough workout. The protein helps to repair and build lean muscle which can help you boost your metabolism and lose fat. And the coconut water and banana gives your body essential electrolytes to help keep you balanced. Here’s the recipe for my go-to post workout smoothie.
5. Track Your Progress
While you’re refueling with some tasty, chocolatey, goodness is a perfect time to log your workouts. Keeping track of your progress is key to staying motivated. Especially when you feel like you aren’t seeing any changes. I like keeping track of each exercise I do with how many sets, repetitions, and the weight I’m lifting when I strength train. Then for cardio, I write my mileage for running or biking, what my time was, and my average pace and heart rate. This helps to keep you accountable and keep you inspired when you see your progress!
What’s your post-workout routine?