“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
~ John F. Kennedy
Staying fit is essential to maintaining balance in your mental and physical health. Some exercise techniques are certainly better than others, and post-workout techniques are no different. Even after a great session at the gym, improper care of yourself after physical exercise can lead to unnecessary soreness, fatigue, and injury. We have compiled a list of things to avoid after working out.
A light jog or brisk walk might be the absolute last thing you want to do after an hour of intensity, but it is absolutely necessary. During your cool down, your heart rate and blood pressure will come back to normal. It allows your body to slow down gradually, not slam on the brakes and give you whiplash.
Though it is arguably the most important thing to do immediately after exercise, stretching is often the most neglected part of a post-workout routine. It helps break down lactic acid produced in your physical activity, and keeps your muscles from contracting. Put effort into your stretching and you will decrease your risk of injury and soreness and increase your flexibility.
Many athletes cheat themselves by jumping straight to a sports drink under the pretense that it's full of electrolytes. The reality is that unless you've been running a literal marathon, they are too full of sugar and calories to be effective. The best option is to drink water, or perhaps a bit of coconut water.
While you shouldn't go straight to drive-through and order jumbo fries, you should try to eat a ~small~ meal packed with carbohydrates and protein to help you rebuild and revamp.
Sometimes it can be hard to do much of anything after you get home from the gym or a solid run. It is essential, though, that you change your clothes as soon as you can. We recommend a quick shower to rinse off all that sweat and grime before continuing on with your day. Whatever you do though, at least get into a pair of fresh clothes.
This is far easier to do than most would expect. To stay on top of your game, however, you must drink water. It's essential to living, and therefore incredibly important to high functioning.
Sleep is where your body rejuvenates and rebuilds itself. If you have a hard workout and then stay up all night, you are robbing your body of the rest it needs. Be sure to make time for your body to rest properly.