It is so tempting to just get out of the gym mindset as soon as you finish that last rep. I’ll admit that there are definitely times where I am just counting down til I’m done (leg days?!). Literally the last thing I want to do after a workout is something that requires even the least bit of effort. And it’s not that I’m being lazy, it’s just that my workout took it all out of me. I’m usually a heavy-breathing, super sweaty mess by the end of it all, and not the cute kind that can post a selfie on Instagram right after.
However, I have realized that there are definitely some things that are very important to do immediately after a workout. In fact, MOST of these are pretty important to your body’s recovery. Seriously, if I skip some of these, I wind up immensely sore and have a hard time working out for an entire week! Have you ever been that kind of sore? It’s awful.
7 Things to do after a workout (in order):
- Cool down– It’s just as important to cool down after a workout as it is to warm up before one. Your cool down doesn’t have to be long, 5 minutes will suffice.
- Stretch– Make sure to really stretch out those muscles you just worked. Stretching pre and post workout has made the BIGGEST difference in my personal recovery time. If I don’t stretch, I know I will be overly sore the next couple days. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your stretches. It should be slightly uncomfortable, but definitely NOT painful.
- Foam Roll– This goes hand in hand with stretching. It is so great for increasing circulation, breaking up small knots and even increasing flexibility. We have this Enkeeo Foam Roller. We love that it has those ridges, it works way better than foam rollers that don’t in our opinion.
- Clean up your gym space– It’s just common courtesy to wipe down machines after you use them. If you’re sick you seriously better do this. It’s just good gym karma. If you work out at home, this is definitely still a good idea. Gym equipment can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Take a cold shower– When your muscles are sore, they’re usually inflamed. A cold shower post work out can help expedite recovery and reduce inflammation.
- Re-hydrate– I hope you drank water during your work out if you ever felt thirsty, but either way be sure to re-hydrate post workout too! Check out our tips on how to drink more water!
- Refuel– Chances are, if you had a good workout your glycogen stores are pretty depleted. Now is a good time to eat some carbs & protein.