Exercising may be good for you, but it could lead to injury if done improperly. According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council, as many as 378,000 people are injured in a year due to exercising, with or without using gym equipment. Some of these injuries are caused by improper form during workouts, overconfidence in one’s abilities, and simple accidents. But some of these injuries can be caused by improper post-workout routines.
After you’ve spent an hour or two lifting or doing calisthenics, you shouldn’t just stop and take a shower. You need to take specific steps to help your body recover from the strain and prevent injuries. Below are a few practices you should incorporate into your post-workout routine to ensure your muscles get proper relief from exercising.
Get a Massage
Your body needs pampering after a tough workout. This is because your muscles could cramp up or form knots from repeated lifting and other rigorous physical activity. Although simply resting after an intense workout may seem enough, a vigorous massage or even a chiropractor appointment can do wonders for your recovery. Their skills can help ease pain and help you feel better quickly after grueling exercises.
If you are lucky enough to be a member of a gym that comes with masseuse services, set an appointment with them after your workout. If you prefer exercising at home or don’t have the resources to dial up a masseuse, you can use a hand massager or a massage drill, both of which are popular for relaxing cramped or aching muscles.
Don’t Skip Cool-down Workouts
Stopping immediately after a bout of intense lifting or aerobics can be very bad for your body. Just like how you aren’t supposed to simply slam your foot down on the brake pedal if you want to stop a car, you need to let your body down slowly after exercising. Not doing so can lead to muscle aches, fatigue, and even cardiovascular issues.
After your workout, you should do some cool-down routines that ease your body down from the high. For example, stretches are encouraged because they ensure your muscles aren’t knotting. Light cardio, such as brisk walking on a treadmill or slowly using an elliptical machine, can also suffice.
Intense bouts of physical activity, whether jogging or weightlifting, can quickly dehydrate your body. The body sweats try to regulate your internal temperature, essentially attempting to cool down the body through moisture release. However, this means that your muscles lose hydration and lubrication if you don’t replenish your body’s store of water. This is one of the main reasons your joints and muscles may end up aching after working out, a condition also known as delayed onset muscle soreness.
Hydrating during and after a workout is essential to speeding up your recovery time. First, take sips of water while exercising to keep your body fluids high. Second, after you’re done exercising, slowly drink up. Guzzling cold water after a workout is a great way to make yourself sick. As long as you stay hydrated and remember that water is your friend, you should have an easier time building back your stamina.
One of the best advice regarding post-workout regimens or recovering from a sports injury is to eat up and eat a lot. This is sage advice for plenty of reasons. First, your body needs food to fuel itself, and the nutrients and vitamins brought by food are the best way to keep your strength up. The other reason is that food is utterly essential in ensuring you come back stronger after a workout.
While you could be working out to lose weight, you still need to eat to repair the damage done by working out. Yes, exercising actually damages your body. This is because your muscles form microscopic tears when you exert them enough. Your body needs proteins from food or supplements afterward to repair the damage, causing an increase in muscle mass and better definition. After exercising, you can drink a protein shake, and you should focus on eating healthy proteins such as lean meat like chicken breasts. Other great sources of protein include legumes, nuts, and fatty fish.
Recovering from a great workout is an essential step in wellness because your body must heal. If you ignore proper post-workout procedures, you can end up severely injuring yourself and setting back your progress. So pay attention to yourself after setting down the weights and do whatever you can to aid your body as it builds itself back up.