Smart Post-Workout Routines

Smart post-workout routines (Photo: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock)

If after working out, you tend to just crash on the couch, you’re cheating yourself of helping your body recover from the exercises you’ve put your body through. You’ve put your muscles through a lot, so treat your body well by trying some of these post-workout strategies.

Take an ice bath

When you exercise vigorously, your muscles get small tears in their fibres (that’s what you feel as soreness). The low temperature of an ice bath will help alleviate soreness, strain and inflammation, and prevents your muscles tissue from breaking down while also helping your cells to start healing those tiny tears in the muscle. To try it at home, fill your bathtub with cold water and buy lots of ice (or prep lots of ice in advance in your freezer) and add it to the water. The water should be 12 to 15 degrees Celsius; use a thermometer to check the temp as if it’s too cold, you may get faint. Immerse yourself (or the body part that’s sore) in the cold water for 10 minutes (work up to 10 minutes if you find the chill too much for you at first). Finish with a shower at your usual warm-water temperature.

Eat a meal with carbs and protein

Hopefully you’re not ruining your fitness efforts by grabbing dinner from a fast-food restaurant on the way home from the gym. After you exercise, you should  be eating a nutritious meal that contains carbs, as you need to replenish you glycogen stores, and some protein, which helps in muscle repair. A sandwich containing lean protein such as turkey and some veggies on some whole-grain bread would make a healthy and easy to make small meal. Besides food, drink plenty of water to rehydrate, too.

Drink tart cherry juice

While making sure you are drinking enough water before, during and after your workout to replenish what you sweated off, drinking tart cherry juice on the days you workout may help you feel less sore from your exercises. The juice contain antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, which have been shown in studies to reduce inflammation and thus alleviate soreness. If you’re not a fan of drinking it straight, include some in a smoothie.

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