From early on, we’re taught about the importance of a good warm-up and stretching routine before engaging in vigorous exercise. But, having a post-workout routine is just as important.
Having a post-workout routine can help make the hard work you put in more effective and help you avoid injury. In this blog, Steven E. Nolan, MD in Sugar Land, Texas, provides steps you can incorporate into you post-workout routine.
After a workout, you’re heart rate will be elevated and your breathing may be heavy, so you need to take a few minutes to cool down. Not doing so can result in dizziness and muscle cramps. The easiest way to cool down is to just walk around and let your heart rate and breathing settle.
Most everyone knows it’s important to stretch before exercising, but do you know it’s important to stretch after your workout? Some experts believe that stretching can help improve joint mobility and thereby help prevent injury.
After your workout, your muscles are warm, and that’s when it’s best to stretch. You should hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds. You should also pay extra attention to muscles that have worked especially hard.
Use a foam roller
Using a foam roller can increase blood flow to your muscles and help limit soreness after a workout. Furthermore, it may also help improve your range of motion.
To use a foam roller, place the sore or tight part of your body over the roller. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Then slowly roll your body part back and forth over the roller, stopping occasionally to focus on areas that need more focus.
Have a healthy snack
It’s more important to have a snack after you exercise than it is to have one before. Your body needs to replenish glycogen and begin rebuilding muscle after a tough workout.
Grab a cool shower
If you’ve worked out in the heat, a cool shower can help your body return to a normal temperature. It may also help you recover.
Log your workout
Whether you use an app, a notebook, or a voice recorder, logging your workout and noting what went well, what needs improvement, and how you feel can help you going forward. Also, if you have tight or especially sore muscles, you can refer to your log to see what may have caused it.
Tracking your workouts gives you one more tool to help you live as injury-free as possible.
If you’d like to learn more about good habits that can limit your risk of getting injured, book an appointment online or over the phone with Steven E. Nolan, MD today.