A healthy, well-rounded fitness routine includes more than just hitting it hard at the gym or on that Peloton. Proper post-workout plans help maximize results, and what you do in the minutes and hours after your workout can either work for you or against you.
Don’t starve yourself
As a good rule of thumb, consume a healthy meal or snack within 30 minutes of a workout. After you sweat it out at the gym, your muscles will be partially depleted of glycogen, and your body will be on the hunt for the carbohydrates and protein needed for muscle repair and growth. Reach for a protein bar, a smoothie, chicken, salmon, BCAA, brown rice, sweet potatoes, nuts, or healthy fats to give your body the nutrition it needs to effectively recover after your exercise. Whether you’re looking to gain or lose weight, this post-workout plan replenishes your energy stores after a workout will enhance your metabolic rate.
Don’t skip stretching!
It might add a few minutes to your workout, but stretching warmed-up muscles is a must. Stretching after exercise speeds the muscle’s recovery process, helps minimize soreness, and supports mobility. Hold isometric stretches for at least 15 seconds each, breathe deeply, and use the time to check in with your body.
Don’t hang out in your gym clothes!
If you can’t shower right away, that’s okay, but don’t stay in your gym clothes. Activewear can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria when your workout clothes are soaked in sweat and are clinging to your skin, resulting in rashes and other skin irritations.
Adhere to these post-workout plans don’ts to maximize results and get the most out of your efforts!