A proper workout routine continues even after you walk out of the gym, and this is especially true when it comes to high-intensity workouts. Ensuring that your body recovers properly after high intensity exercise is not merely optional—it is essential for your body’s health, and it can be just as important as the workout itself. Moreover, resting correctly will set up your body for better results in the future, so be sure to follow these steps even after your workout officially ends.
Irrespective of the type of exercise that you were doing, your body lost a lot of fluids during your workout. If you were engaged in a high-intensity workout that involves lots of sweating, the loss of fluids is even greater, so it’s essential that you drink lots of fluid during, and especially after, your workout.
Don’t forget that water isn’t just about quenching thirst—it’s also needed for your body to optimize your metabolic processes and ensures that your body can function properly.
Now that your workout is over, your body needs to readjust to its pre-workout settings. Let your body cool off, and allow your heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rhythms to reset back to normal levels. After a high-intensity workout such as sprinting, this is all the more vital to staying healthy and gearing up for your next workout. This can be achieved by walking for several minutes, so that your body isn’t shocked by going from one extreme to the other.
Just like you need to restore your body’s fluids, you need to replenish your body with adequate food. This allows your body to rest and recover, preparing you for your next workout. Don’t push this off too long after your workout—try to eat something, preferably with healthy proteins and carbohydrates, soon after you finish exercising to replenish your muscles and help start the recovery process.
If your workout involved high-intensity exercises, this is even more imperative, since your energy stores will have been severely depleted. Eating properly is critical after an intense workout routine.
DON'T OVERDO IT
Exercising well means knowing when you’ve hit your limit. If you’ve finished an intense workout and need time to recover, make sure your workout schedule reflects that need. A proper recovery is necessary to achieve maximal results. Take off time when necessary, so that you allow your body to heal and strengthen itself.
Your mental state affects your physical form more than you think. Recent studies confirm that stress can cause significant setbacks while your body recovers from a workout, so let both your muscles and your mind have some time off after exercising. Don’t underestimate the ability for stress factors to damage your body after a workout—if you want to build muscle strength in the long-term, make sure you find a way to avoid feeling overly stressed, even after you finish exercising.
It is necessary for your body to rest fully so that you’re set up for better results the next time you hit the gym. Don’t involve yourself in strenuous activity right after a workout—especially an intense one—and be sure to get close to 8 hours of sleep that night. Achieving the best results from your workout is not possible without giving your body adequate time to rest and recover.
Intense workouts demand more from your body, and subsequently require you to replenish your body with more nutrients. You need to replenish all of your macronutrients and micronutrients to ensure optimal results from your workout. Although a well thought out post-workout meal can help you accomplish this, one of the benefits of a post-workout supplement is their ability to replenish the supplies of various depleted nutrients to get your body on the right path to recovery. One thing you may want to consider is a supplement as an efficient way of ensuring proper recovery.
Next time you’re planning your workout routine, take a moment and make sure you put some thought into your post workout routine as well. It will go a long way to helping you achieve your fitness goals just like the actual workout itself.