You’ve just finished a killer workout—you feel great, you’re covered in sweat and your heart is still racing—what do you do next? [slideshow:1287]
Well, if you’re like most busy people, you might fit in approximately 30 seconds of stretching and then run to the locker room to gather your stuff and get on with your day. But with a routine like that you could be missing out on some major benefits.
Sure, we all know we should be stretching and drinking plenty of water, but we don’t normally make it a priority. Would you take the time to stretch if you knew it would help you relax while improving flexibility and speeding muscle recovery? Would you make it a priority to drink more water if you knew that it benefited just about every function in your body?
Knowledge is power—read on for the 10 things you should do after every workout and why they will help further your progress.
Tons of people finish their workout and head straight for the locker room but missing out on a proper cool down is a big mistake. During intense exercise your heart rate is way up, when you’re done you need to bring it back down slowly. Immediately stopping activity can cause blood to pool in your legs or feelings of dizziness, so take a few minutes to wind down. If you were running on the treadmill, cool down there and if you were strength training, fit in some dynamic stretches.
The post-workout step that hurts so good—foam rolling is an important part of muscle recovery. The self-massage tool can help increase circulation, improve flexibility, work out “knots” and minimize the time it takes to recover.