Best Post-Workout Recovery Tips
Today we wanted to go over a very important topic – helpful tips for post-workout recovery. Many folks believe that the workout is the most important aspect of one’s fitness plan. However, what’s equally important is how you bring your body back into equilibrium after exercise is finished for the day.
Best Post-Workout Recovery Tips
Why Have A Post-Workout Routine?
Although one can still experience gains if they don’t let their bodies cool down, gains will most likely be more noticeable and sustainable if you’re giving your mind and body some much-needed TLC after.
Letting the body relax and unwind is a very important part of fitness.
It allows the muscles to release tension, which will help alleviate lactic acid buildup and adhesions in the body.
If left untreated, these types of things can limit mobility and performance, which can, in turn, impede reaching one’s goals.
Furthermore, to reach your goals and to keep reaching your goals, it’s important to let the body rest and muscles recover. Taking adequate rest/recovery days will only help you in the long run.
Lastly, we can’t forget about the psyche. The mind and emotional self need time to kick back too.
In short, long-term progress comes from adequately taking care of ourselves.
How Do I Devise A Post-Workout Routine?
Like everything in fitness (and in life for that matter), things need to be tailored to the individual.
Everyone needs something different. Lifestyle and schedule will dictate what one can do as well as physical, mental, and emotional limitations.
Fitness can be a very sensitive topic for folks. Because of this, it’s best to avoid unhealthily pushing ourselves or biting off more than we can chew.
Building on this, to effectively devise a post-workout routine, it’s important to assess what your mind and body most needs and how much time you can give to said things.
For example, if your hips are always sore or you find that you really get down on yourself after your workouts, these are things to look at and perhaps devise your post-workout routine around these two things.
If a client of mine was experiencing the above, I would suggest hip stretches, Epsom salt products, a meditative walk, or perhaps some mindful journaling for their post-workout routine.
Now, of course, there’s more that could be recommended here. However, it’s always good to focus on what’s most important since there are only 24 hours in the day, and it’s impossible to cater to every aspect of the self daily.
Remember, your post-workout routine should make you feel centered, balanced, and replenished after your workouts- not overwhelmed.
There are so many ways one can cool down after working out. Below is a list of some cool-down ideas. However, if you think of something else and it works for you, please roll with it!
You can combine a handful of things too. Again, we are catering to the mind, body, and spirit. It’s unlikely that one thing will help with everything.
- Stretching is a great idea! (feel free to check out my stretching article for more info).
- Doing some light cardio that doesn’t involve heavy resistance-this can help alleviate tightness and tension in the body as well as re-calibrate the mind. Feel free to take a meditative walk as mentioned earlier too. Hiking is also a great option. Being outside really helps some people to feel balanced.
- Taking BCAA’s: These contain amino acids that can help with muscle recovery
- Making a protein shake: This can help nourish the body and aid with the building, toning, and shaping process-I recommend doing this within two hours of your workout
- Using Epsom salt products: Using these can help with sore muscles. There are creams and bath salts as well as new types of products being developed all the time. If you like eucalyptus or lavender there are some great scented bath salts out there that are super relaxing.
- Meditate: Focus on your breath, something positive, your favorite song, or just being with yourself. It’s important after a lot of physical activity to allow ourselves to just breathe and be sometimes. Feel free to meditate on other things too. Just make sure it’s empowering and positive for yourself if possible.
- Journal/positive affirmations/gratitude journaling: Much like meditation, this can help with self-esteem, feeling grounded, and positive. You can also leave space to write out your next workout routine or things that you want to accomplish in the future. Again, as long as you’re avoiding being self-punitive or talking negatively to yourself.
- Get a professional massage, see an acupuncturist, chiropractor, or stretch therapist-if this is available to you, forming a sustainable routine with a healing professional can definitely help. However, at-home treatments are totally good too-especially during a pandemic. Home tools such as self-massagers, theracanes, foam rollers, circulation boots, etc. are all great home tools to help the body.
- Treat yourself to a relaxing activity: This could be reading, talking to a friend, watching your favorite movie, taking a bubble bath, etc. Find something that makes you feel good that doesn’t hinder your fitness goals. I say this because I am in no way encouraging people to indulge in desserts after every workout, especially if their goal is to lose weight. This would most likely undo progress. However, as stated in other articles, indulging mindfully and periodically is usually okay.
- CBD products and rubs: These can help to center the mind and body. This might take some trial and error to find what works for you.
- Heat and Ice: Heating pads, ice packs, ice baths, warm baths, etc also can be used to replenish the body. Everyone resonates with different sensations. So, again, it’s important to find what works for you.
I hope this article has given you the best post-workout recovery tips to take care of your heart, mind, and body.
I encourage everyone to individualize their plan as much as possible. What works for one day or for a certain period may not always work.
We are always changing. Because of this, it’s very important to periodically assess how we can improve things for ourselves/better take care of ourselves.
Please feel free to reach out with any comments or questions you might have here.
Have a lovely week! As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned!