Guest post by Anna Aamone
Warm-ups and cool downs are two aspects of a good fitness program that I used to neglect.
This guest post focuses on the importance incorporating appropriate post workout rituals
into our fitness routines.
The next time you put your running shoes back in the closet thinking your training session
is over, you will be wrong.
You are not done until you follow several cool down tips.
Your body loses lots of carbohydrates during a workout.
Your muscles tear, your body temperature rises and your water supplies decrease.
You need to normalize your heart rate and recover your body.
There are several important things to do following tough training.
To learn how to get the most of our your workouts, read on.
Don’t Stop Suddenly
If you have been doing an intense workout, don’t stop all at once.
You need to finish your training at a steady pace.
So after the last exercise, do some light cardio.
You don’t need to spend an hour “cooling down”.
Walk for about five minutes so that your heart rate can slow down gradually.
Or try some of the exercises below…
Why Is It Called a Cool Down?
When you exercise your body temperature rises and your heart is racing.
Basically you warm up.
That’s why, when you’re done training you need to let your body cool down before you
go back to your daily routine.
It will simply keep you from feeling sick or even fainting after a tough sweat session.
Then, when you have really cooled down, your workout is still not over.
Here comes the next thing to do…
Every workout should be preceded and followed by stretching.
It is absolutely a must if you want to do things the right way.
Stretching allows your muscles to relax instead of shrinking.
They usually contract after you are done exercising, which is why proper stretching
can help them rebuild.
Not only this, but stretching is also effective against muscle stiffness and soreness.
Even though it hasn’t been proved that stretching can keep your from injuries,
it’s always a good thing to do it before and after a heavy workout.
You’ll see the benefits in the long run.
Not to mention, it’s a great way to become more flexible.
Want a good stretch?
Try some of these stretching exercises below.
No matter how intense the workout, you need to make sure you keep your fluid
levels at their best.
Even though you may not feel thirsty, which is quite unlikely, you have to drink water
(You can opt for a protein shake as well, but water should be your major source of fluids,
especially if you are trying to cleanse your body.)
Most of the waste in the body is flushed out by water.
It is needless to explain how important water is for your body – you already know it.
“No matter how intense the workout,
you need to make sure you keep
your fluid levels at their best.”
So just make sure you drink a couple of glasses of water after you are done exercising
to replenish your supplies.
A great way of figuring out how much water you need to drink is this:
before you begin exercising, weigh yourself.
Then when you are done with the workout, weigh yourself again.
Chances are you will be lighter.
Do the math and determine how much weight you have lost.
Drink about 24 ounces of water for every pound you lost.
For example, if you lost two pounds, you’ll need to drink about 48 ounces of water.
A sign that you have over-hydrated during exercising is weight gain instead of weight loss.
In that case the above mentioned “rule” does not apply.
In your future workouts just make sure you drink less water before and during training.
Another very important thing to do after a workout is to eat.
Even if the purpose of your workout is to lose weight, you should never skip eating after it.
With all the tough exercising you will have done, you need to restore your energy and
repair your muscles.
Unless you do this, you will not be able to obtain optimum results, not to mention you
may do more harm than good.
There are plenty of foods you can eat after training:
Fruits: Fruits are rich in enzymes that speed up nutrient breakdown.
And you must know nutrients will help rebuild your muscles.
Additionally, fruits contain carbohydrates that are essential for your body after a workout
(remember we mentioned above you lose carbohydrates when you exercise?)
Think fresh berries, kiwi, pineapple, bananas, apples, etc.
“With all the tough exercising
you will have done, you need to
restore your energy and
repair your muscles.”
Leafy greens, beans and sweat potato: Not only do they contain protein to help your
body recover after a workout, they fuel your metabolism and provide energy post workout.
Also, try quinoa, avocado, lettuce, spinach, etc.
Whole grain cereal: Cereals are rich in fiber and protein, and they also contain carbohydrates.
You can never go wrong with cereal after a workout.
Greek or vegan yogurt: Get the most of your post-training meal by mixing yogurt with fruit
Nuts, seeds and protein shakes: A high protein smoothie is a great post-workout snack.
Tip: Avoid processed foods; stick to fresh produce and clean, whole foods.
If you want to stay healthy and in shape, which is probably the reason you workout, there
is no room for processed foods.
You’ll want to steer clear of refined sugar as well.
Don’t eat too much!
You will be surprised to find how little you need to compensate the weight loss.
To clarify: an average person burns some 500 calories during a workout.
In comparison, a protein-rich smoothie can range between 300 to 600 calories.
So before you ditch your workout equipment after intense training, make sure to follow these tips.
At the end of the day, you are doing it for your health’s sake.
About the author:
Anna Aamone from TenancyClean Kensington is a weight loss enthusiast. She is well informed on topics related to healthy diets and workouts.
Do you cool down after your workouts?
What are your favorite ways to cool down?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.
Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net