Nowadays, the awareness of how to live a healthy life is at an all-time high. More and more people are beginning to eat healthily, take care of their mental health, and exercise. However, there’s always more we can do to help ourselves. Below are some tips when it comes to post-exercise activities. We often forget we need to follow up on our exercises, so here’s what you can do.
Immediately After Exercise:
These tips are best done immediately after exercising before you’ve even left the gym.
Do Some Stretching
After you’ve done the last rep in your last set, the next thing you should (after a good few minutes of breathing, of course) is to stretch. Stretch those muscles out, and not the moving kind of a stretch but the static ones. Static stretching is best done after working out to make sure that the muscles recover better. This facilitates the recovery process as stretching can help reduce the lactic acid in our muscles by giving them space to breathe.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Exercising makes us sweat a lot, releasing a lot of fluids from our bodies. This includes precious electrolytes that regulate our muscles and nerves and rebuild our muscle tissues. This is why we often feel extra sore or extra tired after sweating too much- we quite literally lose the chemicals that help our body stay regulated. Therefore, it’s just right that we replenish these fluids through proper hydration. Make sure you drink enough water during and after your workout.
Take a Shower, either Hot or Cold
Here’s a good reason why you should always have your boiler checked annually: both a cold and a warm shower can actually help you. Not at the same time, of course, but there are both benefits to doing them. A hot shower works particularly well if your muscles are feeling particularly stiff during that day.
Especially if you experienced cramps during your workout, a hot shower can help your blood circulation and improve your blood flow. A cold shower is also great if you didn’t experience anything particularly painful during your workout. If you feel like your muscles are tired, this is most probably because of the buildup of lactic acid, which a cold shower can help relieve.
Use a Foam Roller
If you’re feeling extra stiff and your muscles are extra pumped, then it’s best to get in there and manually release those lactic acids yourself (lactic acid is what builds up when our muscles do not have enough oxygen because of exercise). Stretching is one way to release lactic acid, but if you find that it’s too painful or you can’t go into a stretching position because of the pain, foam rolling is an alternative option for you. Granted, there’s still some considerable pain, but there’s also an immediate relief and comfort after rolling those tight muscles away.
For the Rest of the Day:
Of course, you still have to contend with the rest of the day. Here are a few tips to make sure you stay healthy and safe (and pain-free) even after your exercise.
You’ve Done Enough Exercise for the Day
You might feel the need to have another go workout later that day. However, don’t fall into the dangerous cycle of over-training. You’ve done enough with your workout, and doing more will only result in losing any health benefits you’ve worked for. This also includes physically taxing activities, as not only will it overwork your tired muscles, the risks of accidents and failures are higher because your muscles are tired.
Eat Recovery Meals
Don’t forget that diet and nutrition is an important part of staying healthy. Make sure to eat a diverse diet filled with different kinds of nutrients and vitamins. Amino acids and proteins work great in rebuilding your muscle as well.
Get Quality Sleep
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of living a healthy life is getting good sleep. After a day of working out and doing your work, a good night’s sleep is well deserved. This is also when our body goes into recovery mode and starts processing everything we’ve done for the day- it also begins to process the nutrients we’ve consumed. And the quality of sleep matters too. Deep and uninterrupted sleep is better than a long one but you keep waking up halfway.
Life isn’t just about working out and getting fit. First and foremost, the reason we exercise is so that we live our daily lives better. No need to fret or obsess over your workout. You’ve done enough, you’ve done right. You can attend to your other tasks feeling that you’ve accomplished an important part of keeping yourself healthy. Put your mind into other things, and do your daily tasks.