Your workout is over. What's your post workout routine? Hit the showers? Jump in the Sauna? Or do you just jump in your car to get home?
Like many people, you might be failing to take the proper post-workout steps that could be sabotaging the gains you could be making from your workout. Whether your goals are to gain muscle or lose weight, having a post-workout plan is just as important as what you're doing during it.
Here are our top four post-workout do's and don't
1. Do: Find your inner calmness.
To do this, try a mixture of the following: isometric stretching, breathing, foam rolling, and meditation. These will help you make a healthier and safer transition from working out to walking back into your life.
2. Don't: Forget the other 96 percent.
Muscle growth does not occur when you are running on the treadmill or lifting a weight. They are actually damaged with slight tears in the fibers during a workout. The growth of your muscle comes from proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and staying hydrated. How you treat your body after a work out is important to this growth.
If you look at it from this perspective, a 60-minute workout takes roughly 4 percent of your day. That means the other 96 percent of your day you need to provide your body what it needs to support your workout.
3. Do: Refuel correctly.
Strength coaches and personal trainers teach us that it's important to refuel correctly post-workout to reap all the rewards of your hard work.
It has been shown that individuals who consumed protein in a liquid form after working out significantly benefited from increasing musculature strength and recovery, as opposed to individuals who did not consume any postworkout recovery drink. Carbohydrates are also important to have as your body's level of glycogen, the carbs that are stored in the muscles, are depleted and need to be replenished quickly or your performance will suffer on your next workout.
4.Don't: Get too hot and steamy.
You may think you are soothing sore muscles and sweating out extra calories when you jump into a hot sauna right after a workout. But save the sauna for the days your not working out. Here's why: Within a few minutes after you step into a sauna, your heart rate increases and your skin temperature exceeds 100 degrees. That puts you at risk of overheating and dehydration, and increases your chances for nausea, dizziness, or passing out.
Why take these risks and put yourself in harm's way? If you are searching for a way to achieve optimal results, jump into a cold shower. The cold water acts like an ice pack on swelling by constricting blood vessels and will therefore expedite healing and relieving sore muscles.