How do you finish your workouts? Do you simply walk out the gym or take the time to stretch and sip on protein shakes? Just because you've finished the last set, it doesn’t mean your work is over.
At this point, your muscles need a steady supply of protein and carbs to recover. Also, it's necessary to cool down so your heart rate returns to normal. Don't go home without washing your hands! You have no idea how many germs are lurking around the gym!
Want to find out more? Let's see the six things you must do after exercise:
Stretch Your Muscles
Watch any sports events and you'll see that all athletes stretch before and after exercise. This practice warms up the muscles and helps prevent injuries. Dynamic stretching, which is usually performed before exercise, improves blood flow and joint flexibility. Static stretching is typically done post-workout to relieve muscle tension and speed up recovery.
Stretching after exercise helps reduce muscle fatigue and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). It also allows your body to cool down and regulates breathing rate. In the long run, it increases flexibility and range of motion, prevents muscle pain, and improves your coordination. For best results, stretch your whole body, especially the muscles you’ve just trained.
If you’re really sore, use a foam roller. This basic device helps soothe fatigued muscles and relieves aches. It also improves recovery time and prevents injuries. Foam rolling can be a life saver for those struggling with back or knee pain, tight muscles, or DOMS.
Sip on Protein Shakes
The first 30-45 minutes post-workout are known as the anabolic window. This is when your body needs a fast supply of protein and simple carbs to recover from training. Solid food takes hours to digest, so it's not the best option. Protein shakes, on the other hand, are quickly absorbed into your system.
Drink CLICK Active within half an hour after finishing your workout. This delicious beverage provides 25 grams of protein per serving and tastes just like coffee. It has no added sugar or fillers, so it fits into any diet. CLICK also offers a healthy dose of caffeine to boost your energy after exercise along with Glutemine and BCAA's to speed up recovery and prevent soreness *bonus*
Eat or Drink Your Carbs
The best time to eat carbs is post-workout. Carbs are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Exercise depletes your glycogen stores, which in turn, affects your ability to recover from training.
Ideally, you should consume 25 to 30 grams of carbs after leaving the gym. This will boost your testosterone levels, speed up muscle repair, and keep you energized.
Don’t worry - the carbs consumed post workout are unlikely to be stored as fat. Your body will use them to repair damaged tissues and replenish its glycogen stores.
Step on the Scale
As soon as you're done training, step on the scale. This allows you to assess fluid losses and hydration levels. Fluid losses of more than two percent of your body weight indicate dehydration. Other signs to watch out for include fatigue, poor mental focus, and slow recovery.
Even the slightest dehydration can affect your performance and overall health. To prevent these issues, drink four cups of fluid for every two pounds lost during exercise. Water, protein shakes, and post-workout formulas are a great choice.
If you're an endurance athlete, sip on sports drinks. However, these beverages may contain added sugar, preservatives, and synthetic flavors, so read the label.
Take a Shower
No matter how busy you are, take a shower after exercise! Barbells, dumbbells, and other free weights are covered in 362 more germs than a toilet seat. There are 39 times more bacteria on a stationary bike compared to a plastic reusable cafeteria tray. These pathogens put you at risk for infections, allergies, skin diseases, acne breakouts, and chronic illnesses.
Track Your Progress
Take a few minutes before leaving to gym to track your workout. Use a sports watch, a smartphone app, or the traditional pen and paper to record what you just did. Write down the number of reps and sets as well as the exercises performed and muscles trained. Invest in a FitBit or other device that can monitor the number of calories burned.
Compare your results once every two weeks or so. This allows you to spot any mistakes in your training regimen. Adjust your workouts accordingly.
For instance, if you hit a weight loss plateau, assess your latest gym sessions and make some changes. Swap cardio for HIIT, spend more time lifting weights, or add a full body circuit to your routine.
These simple habits will help you get the most out of your training efforts. How you eat and what you do after leaving the gym can make or break your progress.
Comments will be approved before showing up.