What most fail to realize is the real magic doesn’t happen when you’re in the gym, it happens when you’re out of it.
Working out is just a small component of a healthy lifestyle and your efforts could easily be wasted if you’re not making smart and healthy decisions after your workout is done.
Here are 8 essential things you should consider after every workout.
Cool down phase
Your warm-up and your cool-down should also be part of your workout.
It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. A cool down could be anything from simple yoga moves, stretching or even just taking it easy on the treadmill for 10 or 15 minutes.
Going right from the cool-down phase and into stretching is often advised by many trainers.
As soon as your workout is done, you should stretch the muscles that were just targeted. This will not only help them recover more quickly and keep you more limber but may also enhance the growth process, which is important for your workouts and your everyday life.
Your muscles will respond so much better when you treat them well and take the time for post-workout recovery stretching.
Waiting too long to eat
After an intense workout, your body is in need of nutrients that help speed up recovery, boost energy and build muscle.
The optimal recovery window is within 30 minutes after an exercise.
Your post workout snack should combine protein and carbs. Some good choices include chocolate milk, peanut butter with crackers or a bagel or a slice of turkey with cheese.
One of the most popular post-workout indulgences are protein shakes. Lots of experts recommend getting a solid dose of protein soon after working out to help kick-off the muscle rebuilding process after they’ve been fatigued. Hard working muscles need a little TLC too.
Don’t overdo the foam roller
Soothing your fatigued muscles after a workout with a foam roller can feel great but it’s important you don’t overdo it.
Limit rolling to 30 to 90 seconds per muscle group, with 10 seconds of stretching in between each roll. You can repeat this cycle up to three times on each body area.
Some say too much foam rolling can cause muscle and nerve trauma but I think you should just be mindful of how you’re using this handy tool.
Touch your face
Touching your face after leaving the gym is the last thing you want to do.
All that gym equipment can be a breeding ground for unwanted germs and bacteria.
It’s best to wash your hands and wipe your face with a clean towel, especially if you’re not planning on showering for a while.
Depends on what type of cardio but there is nothing wrong with doing some 20 to 30 minutes of cardio after your weight training, but it should not be excessive as that could lead to muscular hypertrophy.
While there is nothing more important than proper diet and training when it comes to making progress, smart supplementation certainly can speed up the process.
So, if gaining muscle and losing fat are high on your priority list then consider proven supplements such as creatine, glutamine, BCAAs, and leucine by getting a dose of each as soon as you are done training or with your post-workout meal.
Cut back on quality sleep
You should grab about an hour’s nap right after training to help our muscles and nervous system recover, but for most this is just not possible.
Adequate snooze time is essential for any healthy lifestyle. You should take at least a little time to just sit, relax, and comfortably consume your post-workout meal.
Weight training will only be effective if the body gets adequate rest to allow the rebuilding process to take place.
Mostly for the gym newbies. You know, the guy who’s done working out, but just tends to interrupt your routine.
Once your done, head to the locker room, cool down, or get a protein shake.
Getting in the way of others or even worse, sitting on machines or equipment that people are trying to use can delay others. Don’t be that guy.
Remember these pointers the next time you head out (or stay in) for a workout. You can really get incredible results by making the right post-workout choices.