When you are working hard to get fitter and healthier, it is only natural to focus on what you’re doing in the gym or during the workouts that you do to help you get the best results.
However, while it is essential to focus on what you’re doing when you’re working out, you can make a difference to your health, wellbeing, and results with the choices that you make after working out. Keep reading for some essential post-workout dos and don’ts to help you reach your health goals.
Do Rehydrate and Refuel
Once you have finished a workout, your body is going to need refueling and rehydrating. Consuming a healthy meal that is high in protein and healthy carbs is a good way to rebuild your muscle and make sure that any used glycogen stores are replenished.
Ideally, you should eat something around twenty to thirty minutes after you have finished your workout to avoid the risk of feeling lightheaded, tired, and irritable. Take a snack with you if you’re not going home when you’ve finished working out.
High-quality protein shakes are a good idea, along with fruit and nuts, protein balls, yogurt and other healthy options that offer a balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats.
Do Get Enough Sleep
It is a good idea to time your workouts well so that they don’t interrupt your ability to sleep. Some people find that working out first thing in the morning helps them get better sleep at night, while others feel more tired and relaxed after working out later in the day.
It’s important to be careful if you are working out in the evening since the cortisol spike that you will get from working out might make it harder for you to fall asleep later. Getting enough restful sleep at night is crucial for your recovery process, so it’s a good idea to invest in a supportive and comfortable mattress or an adjustable bed.
Adjustable beds offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to sleeping and can be ideal for helping you find the most comfortable position if your muscles are stiff and aching from the exercise.
Do Stretch After Working Out
Once you have finished exercising, static stretching will help to bring your body back into a resting position along with improving your general recovery, joint mobility, and range of motion. Hold each stretch for around fifteen seconds to make sure that it has the best impact.
You might also want to consider using a foam roller to help with stretching and to reduce soreness and stiffness after exercise. Using a foam roller helps to increase the flow of blood to tissues and has a positive effect when used on the parts of the body that you have been working out.
Do Consume Lots of Protein
When it comes to muscle recovery, protein is essential. If you have been lifting weights, then your muscles will be torn and sore. The best thing that you can do for them during the recovery process is to eat foods that are rich in protein.
This might look like having a daily protein shake or eating more lean meat, eggs, nuts, and legumes as part of your general diet. Foods that are high in protein will help to rebuild and repair your muscles, which ultimately makes them stronger.
After an intense workout, one of the most common mistakes that people make is to overcompensate with too much food or too much rest. While working out is going to have burned some calories and maybe left you feeling great, spending hours on the couch later or stopping at McDonald’s on the way home from the gym because you feel like you have earned it is only going to undo all your progress.
It’s important to get into healthy habits following your workouts such as continuing to move with light walking or stretching and eating healthy and nutritious meals to help you get the most out of the work you are putting in.
Don’t Consume Sugar
After a workout, it’s important to avoid sugary or fast foods, as this is only going to slow down your recovery. Consuming protein and healthy fats will help your muscles recover faster. Sugar and fast foods trigger inflammation in the body, which will only make you feel sore for longer, and could even leave you feeling demotivated to get back for your next workout after the rest period is over.
Plus, they’re both high in calories and not very nutritious, and the last thing that you want is to undo all your hard work.
While it’s normal to want to try and push yourself to your limit and challenge yourself with every workout, there are some limits that you should be aware of. Everybody is different, so it’s important to get to know your own body well and be aware of how much you can do before it might start to become a problem.
If you put your body under too much stress, you are only going to create further future problems for yourself. Instead, you should take a couple of days off from time to time to make sure that your muscles are able to relax and repair. As a result, you’ll be able to come back stronger than ever and get even more from your future