3 Steps Your Post-Workout Routine Needs to Include

So, you’ve perfected your workout routine to burn the most calories, target your weak areas, and make going to the gym more enjoyable, but what about your post-workout regimen? For many people, this might sound like a foreign concept—if you simply just move along with making dinner and the rest of your evening, you’re missing out on a crucial opportunity. 

Just like the things you should be doing to prepare for your workout (making sure you’re hydrated, fed, and stretched), there are steps you should be taking once your gym session is done. Having a regimen in place after working out is important for preventing injuries and maintaining other aspects of your health and hygiene. If your post-workout routine is non-existent or has room for improvement, don’t stress, you can use these 3 tips as your starting-point checklist. 

But first, here are a few essentials you should invest in for the best post-workout routine: 

Now you have everything you need to start following our post-workout recommendations! 

  1. Cool Down

After you’ve tested your physical limits, your muscles will be in severe need of a good stretch. Stretching is an essential aspect of a proper cool down because it helps improve the range of motion in your joints and prevents injury. 

In addition to stretching, you should use a foam roller. A foam roller simulates the effects of a massage by applying pressure to help relieve tension and improve muscle recovery. 

When planning your cool down, keep these must-do’s in mind: 

  • Spend enough time cooling down to bring down your heart rate (this will help avoid fainting) 
  • Focus on the areas you worked out, but make time to cover all major muscle groups
  • Hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Take your time when foam rolling, even though it hurts (spend about 20 seconds on each spot)
  • Use proper posture when foam rolling 
  1. Cleanse Your Skin 

While you might want to hop in the shower after your workout, a quick rinse might not be sufficient to keep your skin in the best condition. If you find yourself noticing an uptick in breakouts and blemishes after your workouts, you should reconsider your cleansing routine. To get a proper wash and protect your skin, here are a few guidelines to follow: 

  • Take a shower as soon as you get home. Letting sweat and bacteria sit on the skin can allow it to absorb into your pores. 
  • Wash your face with a cleanser after working out. Using face wash after the gym is essential to prevent dirt, sweat, and buildup to create pore blockage. If you wear makeup, it’s especially important to wash your face before the gym too.
  • Shower within the first 30 minutes of being home. If you have to commute home from the gym, don’t panic that you have to wait a few minutes to take a shower, just get in there as soon as possible.

If for some reason you can’t shower after your workout, bring a change of clothes and get out of your sweaty garments immediately after you’re done cooling down. 

  1. Eat a Well-Balanced Meal  

With every great workout regimen, there needs to be equally great nutritional practices. To help your body refuel and recover, make sure you eat something within about 30 to 45 minutes or so after your workout. 

If it’s during the day, a high-protein snack should do it. If it’s the end of the day and you’re going to sit down to dinner after, make sure you eat a well-balanced meal that includes proteins, carbs, and fats. Some popular post-workout-meal ingredients include:

  • Grilled chicken 
  • Salmon 
  • Tuna
  • Sweet potato
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Whole grain bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Avocado 
  • Eggs 
  • Bananas 

You could also substitute your meal with a protein shake if you are trying to cut calories in order to lose weight

Bonus pro-tip: If you’ve had an especially tough workout that’s going to leave you uncomfortably sore, you should try using a post-workout soother to relieve joint tension and discomfort. 

By taking these three essential steps after every workout, you’ll be on your way to leading an even healthier lifestyle that both you and your body will appreciate.

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