I see on the interwebs a lot of advice on what to do to prepare for a workout. Heck, I’ve written plenty of posts about it myself. A lot of times, though, there isn’t a whole lot about what to do after your workout.
Why is this? I think because it’s a lost art of a proper cool down and post workout routine.
Is there something magical about a post workout routine? Will it make you lose weight faster or gain muscle quicker?
No, it won’t.
But! Having a routine post workout can help with things like muscle soreness, keeping you hydrated, etc.
To be completely honest,
I often fall into the category of not having a proper cool down or even a proper warm up because I’m so short on time.
And while sometimes it is what it is and that’s all the time we legitimately have, it shouldn’t be the norm.
There should be a proper warm up and a proper cool down and then dare I say a proper post workout routine?
Does it have to be elaborate?
I am a huge fan of less is more so we will keep this list super simple and to the point.
Because, remember, we’re learning a new lifestyle; we’re learning how to live healthy as a whole.
We’re not doing any of these crash diets nonsense and then not knowing to do once the “diet” ends.
It’s learning how to live well every single day.
I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times.
Small steps lead to big results and keeping in mind that those victories aren’t always on the scale!
Post Workout Routine Tip #1 – Stretch/Roll
One of the biggest things is that your cool downs do not have to be long. It’s not like you have to tack onto the end of your workout a 15 minute cool down (unless you just want to!).
A proper cool down could be anywhere from 3-5 minutes, where you stretch out the worked muscles.
Example – if you have focused on legs for the day, doing some leg focused stretching would be fantastic for starting the recovery process for those muscles. Some examples would be:
- Hamstring Stretch
- Quad Stretch
- Butterfly Stretch
- Followed by some rolling of those hams, quads and glutes.
Example B – If you have focused on arms/upper body for the day here are some stretches for that:
- Seated and reaching for the ceiling with hands clasped
- Cat/Cow Stretch
- Overhead tricep stretch
- Followed by some rolling of the upper back!
If you did full body,
You can do a mix and match of these stretches and rolling and you’ll be all set.
Post Workout Routine Tip #2 – Drink Water
There is a lot of debate around how much is enough water. Some people swear by a gallon of water per day, while others say one ounce per weight in pounds, and others say 64 ounces across the board for everybody.
Once again, I believe it differs for each person.
And, in fact, a great indicator of hydration is the color of your urine.
If your urine is light yellow, you should be just fine, while if it is bright yellow and even orange, you need to drink some water!
Remember, if you’re concerned about your urine and the color, don’t hesitate to go see your doc!
Tip – if you have had a killer workout and you’re super hot and sweaty, I would highly recommend room temperature water vs. ice cold water. While I haven’t read any studies on this that were fully conclusive, it concerns me to drink ice cold water when you’re so hot.
Personally, I’d be concerned about shocking the body. But! Like I said, I haven’t seen a fully conclusive study done on that to back up what I’m saying, nor am I a doc, it’s just something to think about. ?
Post Workout Routine Tip #3 -When/How to Eat
Confession – I am super bad about eating within a decent amount of time after a workout.
This is because I don’t really feel hungry after a workout for quite some time. I’m more thirsty than anything.
Which is where I will drink some coconut water mixed with lemon juice and stevia as well as my water. (Below – a recent Instagram Story)
I will also drink a protein shake because, like I said, I’m more thirsty than hungry so, having the protein shake helps replenish my body of nutrients that I have depleted myself of during the workout without eating a full on meal right after.
While I know of lots of people that eat full on meals right after workout (I even used to recommend this), I simply have a hard time doing it because it upsets my stomach.
So I work to have some protein, then I’ll eat a full meal within 2 hours or so.
This goes back to learning what works for you and your body. It’s important to replenish those nutrients lost during workout, but in the end, making sure that you meet your calorie target by the end of the day is the most important thing.
Post Workout Routine Tip#4 – Shower
And, the obvious one – take a dang shower.
I’ve been guilty too of simply not showering after a workout because of other things getting in the way or taking my attention but it is SO important to take one.
Please, for the love, take a dang shower.
Put your kiddos in their pack ‘n play in your line of sight or in front of a movie or activity or something so you can get a quick shower.
You will feel so much better after you do, and you won’t get whiffs of yourself throughout the day either.
Like I said, post workout routines are not ground breaking, nor is there some kind of magic that happens to make you lose weight faster when you have a solid post workout routine, it’s just a recommendation for self care purposes.
Honestly, I know it may sound silly, but making sure that these things are done in a timely manner post workout will really make a difference in how you feel.
Making sure you’re hydrated is honestly probably the most important one. Somedays I am sucking down my water with no issue. While other days I’ll look up and realize, hey, it’s 1:30 and I’ve barely had any water.
We have to have water! So, making sure that you’re getting enough water, especially post workout will be important!
Now that you know what to do post workout, how about 10 days of free workouts? Throw in your email below and I will send you 10 days worth of free workouts right to your email.
Don’t worry, I won’t spam you, only the best info and encouragement. Plus, if you decide it isn’t for you, then no hard feelings and you can unsubscribe at any time!
Bottom line? Learning a new lifestyle for yourself will get you longer lasting results than any crash diet or “magic” exercise routine can give you.