Many of you think that once you have finish your last repetitions in the gym that your workout is finished but here are a few tips on how to get the most from your workout after you put the weights down.
Being short of time is no excuse to skip your stretching, especially as it improves flexibility, blood flow and circulation. You only need to stretch out the muscles you have worked and each stretch should be held for a maximum of twenty seconds which really does not take that long. A good stretching session can also help the nervous system relax and recover along with benefiting the muscles.
Depending on how intense your workout was you need to replenish your fluid levels. Whilst you should maintain hydration throughout your workout, some of us may want to avoid the communal water fountain and so it is vital for all out bodily functions to rehydrate. If you have worked out for an hour then water is enough to restore the body however if your workout is extended you should look to replace the electrolytes using sports performance drinks or a homemade fruit smoothie
It may seem counterproductive to eat after your workout but this is a vital time for your body to refuel. Especially as, given the right nutrition, you can burn calories for hours after your workout. Eating does not cancel out the calories you have just burned off in the gym as, instead it will help the muscles regenerate and give the body some energy. Ideally have a protein based snack or meal within half an hour of finishing your workout.
Making a note of your workout, what you found hard, what you can improve on for next time, is a great way to keep up gym motivation as it provides us with written evidence that we are improving. It is a good idea to write down the time of day, how much sleep you have had, how much water you have drunk, how you felt before and how you felt after as you may find morning workouts work best for you. Remember to set yourself realistic goals.
Even if you have not the time for a shower, it is important to have a quick wipe down with wet wipes and change clothes as this reduces bacteria spreading.
BSc (hons) Sports Science, Level 3 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training, Boxercise Registered Instructor, Certificate in Pre and Post Natal Exercise