6 Steps You Should Include Into Your Post-Workout Routine

You might think that going to gym is all you need to do in order to get in shape. Well, you should know that your post-workout routine is as important as the time you spend training. There a few steps you should consider if you want to see progress, keep healthy and avoid the risk of getting injured. In this article, I will share with you my tips on what you should do after your workout is done.

Cool down time

After an intense workout, you might tend to go straight the locker, change and leave the gym. Instead you should spend a few minutes in the gym to cool down. You can do this on the treadmill for example, by walking or using the cool down settings. It’s important to realise that the cooling down process helps reducing your heart rate and any stress your body is experiencing. Your blood vessels will also return to normal while you cool down.

No workout without stretching

Stretching is key when you want to see progress in muscle growing. Muscles are more elastic and pliable when they're warm, so this best time to stretch and lengthen them. However, if the muscles get cool, these will contract. Stretching will help decrease soreness, accelerate your recovery process relax tension from the workout and increase and build your range of motion. You can spend around 15 minutes to properly stretch. You can also use a foam roller during stretching if you can, to help you massage the tensioned muscles.

Hydrate properly

During a workout, your body can lose around 2% of body water, through sweat. This can lead to being less concentrated, headaches and fatigue. You need to replace the fluids you lose during the workout, so you should hydrate yourself by drinking water. Moreover, if you drink water your body temperature will return to normal, which means you are cooling down.

Change before you leave the gym

Yes, I know you are in a hurry to get to work, pick up your kids from school or go for grocery shopping so you can cook tonight. Well, let me tell you what happens when you don’t change after your workout and you leave the gym in your sweaty clothes: your skin pores get clogged with sweat and you expose yourself to the risk of getting skin infections and breakouts. Instead I suggest hitting the showers and changing into clean clothes. However, if you feel like you are in a rush, at least change in something clean.

Post-workout food is important

Post-workout nutrition is perhaps the most important meal of the day. The timing of it is very important as well. Delaying post workout nutrition by even 30 minutes can significantly reduce its benefits. It is important to consume both carbohydrates and protein as soon as possible after a workout, so the nutrients get to the muscle cells. Obviously, we want fast absorbing & fast digesting nutrients. For this reason, liquid meals are ideal. Fast absorbing carbohydrates are also ideal. 

Maltodextrin is probably the best source, as it is absorbed by the stomach faster than sucrose or dextrose. Whey is the ideal choice for a protein source. 1-2 grams of extra glutamine and BCAA's are also very beneficial. Aim to consume about 30 grams of protein, and 60-80 grams of carbohydrate, or .25 g/lb of protein, and .5 -.75 g/lb of carbohydrate.

Sleeping is key

Sleeping is the best time for your body to recover after your workout. The ideal target is to sleep between 7 and 8 hours. It is also important to go to sleep earlier. Actually, so much more repairing to your brain and body cells, that every 1 hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth 3 times as much. Making sure you are sleeping before midnight is good for your overall health.

What’s also interesting is that when you sleep properly you can also burn fat. This happens especially after a high intensity workout or a resistance training. So, leave any technology aside, relax, get comfortable, close your eyes and start losing weight.

If you are already doing some of these post-workout steps you might have seen some of the benefits you can get. I hope this article has helped you to realise the importance of post-workout recovery in order to achieve your goals to become healthier, stronger and avoid the risks of getting injured. Do you have any secret recovery tips you swear by? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!
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