You’ve just finished a heart-pumping workout. Your muscles are screaming. You’re covered in sweat. What’s the next step?
What you do after a workout has a big impact on your fitness routine and allows you to train more effectively. It’s important for staying injury free, muscle and tissue repair, and strength building. Plus, many of the steps you take to properly recover from a workout also contribute to essential body functions that keep you healthy, energized, and ready to conquer the day.
So instead of just laying on the couch post-workout, here are some tips for what you should do after you exercise:
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
When you exercise, you lose a lot of fluids. It is important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to help ward off aches, regulate body temperate and prevent muscle cramps and dizziness. Just make sure to not guzzle a bunch of water after you exercise, since your body absorbs it better when you sip over long periods of time. It’s also important to replenish the electrolytes you lost through sweating, so a healthy way to boost your levels while hydrating is drinking coconut water.
Eat Healthy Recovery Foods
Exercise depletes your energy stores, so it is important to refuel if you want your body to recover, get stronger, and repair tissues. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include healthy proteins, fats and carbs. For example, a protein bar, a slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas or a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh berries would do the trick.
Massage and Foam Rolling
Massage and foam rolling can help remove muscle “knots” and prevent muscle imbalances from forming. We think the best massage and foam rolling products on the market are from Hyperice. The Hypervolt percussion massage device quietly helps relax sore and stiff muscles to improve mobility, and the Vyper 2.0 vibrating foam roller features all the benefits of traditional foam rolling amplified by three powerful speeds of vibration. It’s no wonder that Hyperice products are used by top athletes from Olympic gold medalists to Super Bowl champions.
Get Lots of Rest
While you might think working out constantly will help you reach your goals, overexercising can actually do more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to designate specific rest days during the week for your muscles to repair so they can get stronger and grow. Stretching and doing light activity that gets your body moving, like walking, hiking, or bike riding, enhances muscle recovery without strain. Also, it’s extremely important to prioritize sleep, since sleep deprivation can actually delay muscle repair.