What to do first: Cool Down
When you are done exercising, the first thing you need to do is cool down. Even if running was all that you did, you still should do light cardio for a few minutes. This brings your heart rate down at a slow and steady pace, which helps you avoid feeling sick after a workout. Walking on a treadmill for five minutes is a good and easy way to cool down as well.
Next Up: Stretch
After a workout, muscles naturally contract. Stretching prevents muscles from shrinking and allows them to rebuild, which allows you to get the full benefit from your efforts. Stretching after exercise also relaxes your muscles, helps speed circulation to joints and tissues, and helps removal of unwanted waste products, which helps to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
After your workout, you need to keep replenishing your fluid levels. It’s recommended that you drink 2-3 cups within two hours after you have finished. Then, drink water regularly afterwards. You may not feel thirsty anymore, but you still need to replenish yourself to avoid getting dehydrated.
Last but not least: Refuel
Eating is one of the most important items to do after a workout. You need to replenish the carbs you have burned through as well as repair your muscles and boost your energy level. It’s recommended that you eat within 90 minutes of your workout, but the sooner the better. Look for foods that are packed with complex carbohydrates and high in protein, like a tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread.
So, the next time you complete your workout, remember to follow these post-workout tips to get the most out of exercising!