A healthy, well-rounded fitness routine includes more than just hitting it hard at the gym. Proper post workout rituals 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 60 minutes of a workout. After sweating it out at the gym your muscles will be partially depleted of glycogen and your body will be on the hunt for carbohydrates and protein needed for muscle repair and growth. Reach for chicken, salmon, brown rice, sweet potatoes, nuts or healthy fats to give your body the nutrition it needs to effectively recover post-exercise. Whether you’re looking to gain or lose weight, replenishing energy stores post 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 you 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 when your workout clothes are soaked in sweat and clinging to your skin, resulting in rashes and other skin irritations.
Remember to avoid these post workout don’ts to maximize results and get the most out of your efforts!