What you do after a workout can either help you realize your goals, or it could ruin your efforts. This is probably the reason why so many people work out for hours each week but never achieve their end goals. It mostly happens because they miss the post workout effort. This article highlights some of the key things you should do after a tough workout to maximize your gains.
When you are done with an intense session, don’t just stop abruptly and leave. The best way to stop is to slow down and allow your body to cool off. For instance, if you have been running on a treadmill fast, you can reduce the pace and walk slowly for a few minutes. Also, you could consider some stretching exercises. Stretching is a great way to cool down because it can relieve the tense muscles.
After working out intensely, your muscles are most likely to be sore. A foam roller can help reduce this soreness and inflammation. The foam rolling is something close to getting a massage after your workout. You can also consider foam rolling as a warm up before your tough workouts.
The post workout diet is super important for two key reasons. One, during workout, the glycogen stores are used up and thus you need replenishment. Two, the muscle proteins also do break down. To replenish the glycogen and repair and grow the muscles, consider a diet rich in both carbohydrates and proteins. Most people tend to go for the protein only. This is not advisable because the body clearly requires both. You can add some healthy fats to your diet too.
Sleep for 7 to 9 hours
According to this article by the National Sleep Foundation on sleep.org, inadequate sleep can interfere with the body’s ability to build muscle strength. Thus, no matter how busy your schedule is, you should ensure that you get adequate sleep every day, even on days when you are not working out. In addition to muscle strength, when you sleep well, you will wake up with more energy, you will be more attentive and productive, and your memory can improve among many other benefits.
On some days, even when you have the time, you could end up sleeping for fewer hours. This could be due to some sleep disorders, stress, or the wrong sleeping environment. Snoring, for instance, can interfere with sleep quantity and quality as you will struggle with breathing. Stress can cause you to stay up at night thinking. An uncomfortable bed can keep you tossing and turning and cause some back or neck pains.
Find a way to solve any issue that may be interfering with your sleep so that you get maximum gains from your workout and other health benefits. If your sleeping environment is the issue, get a good bed to sleep on. If you are stressed out, talk to someone or see a therapist. For continual snoring, consider a medical evaluation.
In addition to a good diet, don’t forget your water. Water is important for your recovery, especially considering you have been sweating a lot during your workout. If you are the forgetful type, consider making use of water drinking apps or setting some reminders on your phone. Bringing a water bottle along can also be helpful.
Most importantly, if you want to see maximum benefits, you have to be consistent with your efforts; both working out and all the above factors. Consider keeping a record to see areas where you are going right and where you are failing.