Knowing how to wrap-up a workout is an important part of any fitness regime or exercise plan. Pushing too hard during a workout, failing to properly cool down and stretch following exertion or overlooking the role nutrition plays when recovering from a workout are all common mistakes that may impede progress and delay results. Knowing what to do post-workout means getting more out of every trip to the gym.
1. Cool Down and Stretch
Certain exercise and workouts are designed to push the body to its limit. Muscles that have been pushed too hard will need time to recover. Cooling down after a period of intense exertion and taking the time to stretch out major muscle groups helps to reduce post workout soreness, fatigue and may even benefit the aches and pains associated with minor muscle strain.
The cells of the body need to be property hydrated in order to function at peak efficiency. While most people are aware of the importance of staying hydrated throughout their workout drinking plenty of water after strength training or an intense cardio workout ensures that the body is better able to recover. Water and essential electrolytes play a crucial role in ensuring that muscle cells and tissues are able to process waste and rebuild or recover following a workout.
3. Track and Record Progress
Tracking workout progress is a great way to stay focused and motivated. Identifying and achieving even minor goals can be a tremendous source of satisfaction and may help to provide that extra nudge needed to stick with it. There are numerous digital fitness tracking applications that make it much easier to monitor and record daily progress. Plugging in the numbers following a difficult or intense workout can be an important step.
4. Eat a Recovery Meal
A balanced diet is one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. Thinking that proper nutrition has to wait until the next meal is a common mistake, one that could result in longer recovery times. Eating a recovery meal or even a nutritious snack following a workout provides the body with the nutrients it needs. The body cannot build new muscle tissue without protein and the energy provided by carbohydrates may also be of benefit to those who are struggling with fatigue.
Creating the Right Workout Program
Fitness does not begin or end at the gym. Sleep habits, meal plans and other efforts can often play a huge role in ensuring that an exercise program is able to provide superior results. Taking the time to cool down from a workout or planning the right recovery meal are important aspects of a workout program that should not go overlooked.