Both men and women like to work out. The advantages of engaging in physical activity are plenty. The body gets to release stress and anxiety, the metabolism improves, and best of all, you get to lose weight. While this is true, the difference between male and female non-professional athletes is in the details. While most men “go at it” as hard as they can for as long as possible, women tend to focus more on all aspects of the workout. This includes the warm-up, the workout itself, and the cool-down.
The importance of warming up has been discussed at length. As such, we will not focus on it. Instead, it’s better to look at something a lot of men tend to ignore, the cool-down. The benefits of a proper cool-down are plenty. Among others, the body temperature goes down and the heart gets to relax, easing into its normal resting state.
Having the right post-workout routine is thus essential. It includes stretching, breathing and meditation exercises, hydration, and a healthy snack. Lastly, you should take a warm shower in a comfortable place. You need somewhere to relax, disengage, and recover. If yours is not up to par, look into bathroom-remodeling services. It’s an investment you won’t regret.
Your post-workout regimen cannot begin without a proper stretch. Stretching helps “reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscle cramps and stiffness.” It also improves posture, reduces tension, and increases energy levels.
There are many types of stretching. From ballistic stretching to isometric stretching and PNF stretching, the list goes on and on. However, the two biggest schools of thought on stretching are active or dynamic and passive.
As the word active implies, dynamic stretching involves movement, stretching your muscles while performing an activity. Passive stretching entails no movement. It is a static, breath-controlled lengthening of the limbs, ideal for your post-workout routine.
The Power of Meditation
Once you’re done stretching, a few minutes of meditation will do wonders. Meditation is being aware of your present situation, understanding where you are here and now. By letting go of both the past and future, your mind will refocus on what’s truly important in your life. It will prioritize.
There is no magic to it. There is no secret knowledge passed on through generations upon generations. You can close your eyes for a couple of minutes and focus on your breathing. Whatever position you find most comfortable is the one you should be in. If you feel good sitting down, do so. If you prefer standing, there’s also nothing wrong with that.
Proper Hydration and Snacks
Sweat is made of water, salts, a few other elements, and sugar. This is what you lose when you exercise. Hence, this is what you should gain back. First, you should hydrate, then snack. Hydration replenishes the electrolytes lost through sweat. Snacks start the recovery and rebuilding process in your body.
A glass of sprinkled water with a hint of lemon is a great option to begin the re-hydration process. Coconut water is another fantastic choice. Once your body has the liquids it requires, you can then move on to something heavier. Examples of post-workout snacks include protein shakes, crackers with some cheese or peanut butter, a veggie omelet, and a few mixed nuts.
Time to Relax
Before, we mentioned a warm shower in a comfortable place. The purpose of a warm shower is not only to relax your muscles and clean yourself. A warm shower will also promote healthy blood circulation, massage your joints, and improve flexibility. Besides, it will give you the time to let loose, to free your mind from the physical strain exercise causes in your body. Finally, it will create the perfect environment for a good night’s sleep.
A proper post-workout routine is as important as the workout itself. It will not only help you prevent injury but also recover both faster and more effectively. Remember to stretch, meditate for a few minutes, hydrate and nourish yourself, and take a warm shower after your next workout. You’ll see the wonderful results they bring.