While refueling your body after a major sweat session is definitely important, you’d be surprised to know that there are other effective ways to help your mind and body bounce back after a tough workout. Rebounding after an intense workout can be pretty difficult, so you’ll want to be extra vigilant in ensuring that you do so properly.
From stretching to foam rolling, personal trainers share 10 ways to recharge your body after a workout below.
Don’t forget to stretch
“Be sure to incorporate stretching into your cool-down period,” says Jamie Hickey, certified personal trainer and nutritionist. People who stretch during the cool-down phase have fewer complaints of delayed onset muscle soreness and fewer injuries, she explains. Take between five and 10 minutes to help your body gradually transition to a resting (or near resting) state.
Drink lots of water
“Water is the most essential of all our nutrients, and replacing water after exercise aids in the recovery process,” Hickey says. As you sweat during a workout, your body drains its water reserves, which could ultimately lead to dehydration. Dehydration, she adds, can lead to a whole mess of unwanted symptoms including muscle cramping, fatigue, headaches, and poor physical performance.
“Protein is critical post-workout because it helps you rebuild your muscles,” Hickey explains. “Try eating at least 20 grams of protein (eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, or a protein shake) right after a tough workout.”
Create an effective sleep schedule
Hickey suggests that most people need between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. “It’s even more important to achieve this recommended amount of sleep to help aid your body in recovery,” she says. “If you’re not resting enough, you will not feel the full benefits of your workout.”
Invest in a foam roller
“A great way to recover after a tough workout is to roll out your muscles on a foam roller,” says Rachel Prairie, a certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several different types of foam rollers to choose from, and each one serves a different purpose. Less dense foam rollers are great for beginner rollers looking to ease in, she suggests, while longer rollers are great for focusing on your back. Shorter rollers are typically used for rolling out arms and legs.
Give CBD products a try
“Taking CBD products post-workout helps the body’s anti-inflammatory response system,” says Tony Carvajal, certified L-2 CrossFit trainer with RSP Nutrition. “This helps the body naturally recover after being through so much stress.”
Consider taking zinc and magnesium
“Zinc and magnesium are often depleted after hard workouts,” Carvajal says. If you are feeling repeatedly drained after working out, talk with your doctor about taking zinc and magnesium supplements.
Take Epsom salt baths
“After an intense workout, Epsom salt baths are good for calming the body down,” Carvajal explains. These bath salts also work to help the muscles directly and allow them to boost back after a vigorous workout.
“Meditation is a great way to calm the body and the mind,” Carvajal says. 10 to 15 minutes of deep meditation will allow you to relax, but it will also help to circulate any lactic acid buildup in the muscles.
Hit the sauna
“15 to 20 minutes in the sauna (at 175 to 190 degrees) is a great way to recover post-workout,” Carvajal explains. The heat from the sauna naturally circulates blood to the muscle, which helps repair muscle tears and speeds up recovery.
xx, The FabFitFun Team