Whether you’re logging in miles on the road, laps in the pool, or reps in the weight room, there is always a way to squeeze in a solid workout. You don’t need a gym to maintain a regular fitness schedule! An important part of every fitness routine is making healthy choices, from the gear we wear to the food we eat. We know the workout itself is the star of the show, but what you do after your sweat sesh is equally as important. A healthy workout includes a healthy post-workout regimen, including snacks, stretches, and a shower.
Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise and diet plan. If you are able to get a regular workout, great! And to make sure you’re getting the most from your workout, we recommend a few dos and don’ts when it comes to your post-fitness routine.
…hydrate and eat some protein. You’ve lost fluid during your workout- now it’s time to replace it. Water is great but also think about restoring lost electrolytes to help with recovery. Be sure to have a snack handy; your workout causes microscopic muscle tears, which, as they repair, help make your muscles stronger. You’ll want to include some protein in that post-workout snack; protein helps to rebuild and repair our muscles.
…get out of your sweaty clothes. There are obvious reasons to do so, like to prevent body odor and bacteria or fungus from building up on your body. A post-workout shower health benefits beyond getting you clean. Staying in your sweaty workout clothes may weaken your immune system, exposing you to germs and bacteria that will make you sick – and keep you from working out!
…skip a cooldown and stretch. Your workout got your heart rate up and your blood moving, so to truly reap the benefits of that heart-pumping workout you need to cool down. Gradually bringing your heart rate back to its normal level will prevent post-workout dizziness, as well as cool you down so that you’re not still sweating when you get out of the shower. With your muscles still warm, get in a few good stretches. Stretching and a cool down will help prevent injuries and offset some post-workout muscle soreness.
…forget your shower slippers or flip flops! Going barefoot in the gym or locker room is an invitation for trouble. Fungus and bacteria linger in damp places, couple that with the number of different people using the shower and you’re looking at the possibility of an undesirable infection. Post-shower, stand on a dry towel to help dry your feet and avoid contact with the gym floor.