How to Maximise Your Recovery After a Workout
Most of us are aware of the many benefits of regular exercise, whether we choose to embrace them or not. If you are among those that do enjoy a workout, it is important to be aware that what you do both before and after your session can be just as important as the exercises you choose to include in your routine. Preparation and recovery are the activities that will ensure the success of all the sweating, straining, and deep breathing that occurs in between, and which some trainers actually claim is the easiest part of fitness training. What you do with the rest of your day could prove more instrumental in determining the extent of your success.
As well as being sure to get a good night’s sleep, ensuring you are well-hydrated and not still bloated from an overly large meal, a series of dynamic stretching exercises is the best way to loosen up and warm your muscles in order to avoid the risk of a cramp or injury once you get stuck into your workout. Even 10 minutes can be enough, but be sure to keep your body moving rather than holding those stretches.
Whether the aim of your workout is to lose weight, to develop a more toned look, or to build big muscles, what you do when it’s all over is especially important. Without an effective recovery routine, much of the benefit of all that exercise can be lost. Once again, stretching is important, but now it is the isometric kind, in which each position is held for 15 seconds or so. These work best while your muscles are still warm.
Although a pre-exercise snack is really optional, post-workout nutrition is vital in order to replenish depleted glycogen stores, as well as for muscle growth. Eat immediately. Don’t wait till you’re starving and then pig out. Finally, when it’s time for your shower, keep it cool, as this will help to prevent the aches and pains that tend to present themselves on the day after a workout.