Successful training? It’s all about what happens afterwards!
Having a beer, treating yourself to something delicious or just sinking down on the couch sounds pretty good after a big workout! You’ve burned a lot of calories, after all!
Does this sound familiar to you?
Perhaps you’re wondering why you’re not seeing much success from your training, even though you always stay on the ball. But perhaps you’re paying too little attention to your behaviour after your workout.
These are the times where it’s easy to make mistakes – easier than during your actual training!
The dos and don’ts of a post-workout routine can be a little confusing, so we’ve listed everything out so you know exactly what works for your body!
1. No cool down
Are you too tired after exercise for a tedious cool-down? Think again! Because warming up and cooling down should be the be-all and end-all of every workout. Not only do these routines reduce the risk of injury, but they’re also essential for effective and safe training!
Stretching after your workout is a good way to bring your pulse and heart rate back down and slowly allow your body to relax. In addition, stretching exercises loosen the muscles which helps prevent injuries and reduces the risk of sore muscles and muscle strains.
You should, however, avoid stretching after intensive strength training. The microtraumas in your muscles could potentially be exacerbated which will delay the healing process.
2. Wrong nutrition or no nutrition
A good workout demands a lot from the body and burns many calories. Refraining from eating after training hinders the necessary supply of nutrients and minerals and thus slows down the regeneration of your muscles.
On the other hand, a sweaty workout is not a free ticket to eat a greasy pizza or a huge piece of chocolate cake. That’s not the correct way to make up for lost calories!
Fat and / or sweet foods will undo all of your hard work. Everything good that you’ve done for your body will ultimately be destroyed. After training your body needs vitamins and enough protein to rebuild muscle. That’s how you can experience long-term success.
If you’d done weight training then it’s important to eat food that’s high in protein. Muscles need protein to grow. Anyone who cares about improving their endurance should also ingest protein, but don’t forget healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa are a great way to replenish your energy reserves.
3. No time to shower
Especially in corona times, showers and sanitary facilities may only be used partially – but that doesn’t mean you should neglect showering after your workout! Sweat on the skin causes bacteria to form faster. Not only is this unsanitary, but poor personal hygiene can cause pores to become clogged which creates impurities.
This also applies to women who wear make-up during sports.
It’s not enough to just change your clothes after exercising. With a relaxing shower after your workout, you’ll do your muscles a favor as well as the people around you! Body odor doesn’t care about social distancing 😉
4. No sauna
Do you love relaxing in the sauna right after a hard workout? This is now possible in some partner locations, as long as safety precautions are observed. Nevertheless, you should really rethink this ritual.
Studies have shown that an increased number of infectious diseases can be picked up after intensive exertion. This is due to the “open window phenomenon” which is the time when the immune system is briefly weakened after intensive training.
This risk of infection can be further increased by irritation of the body which is why experts advise giving the body a few hours rest before visiting the sauna.
5. Not enough sleep
Those who train hard and push their bodies to the limit should take regular breaks for regeneration. Much of our repair and regeneration takes place while we sleep – that’s when new movement patterns from your routines are cemented and anchored.
You can find more interesting facts about sleep from our expert interview with sleep medic Dr. Krapf.
So both before and after the workout is a crucial time for progress. Not only does this time define your training success, but it allows your body to regenerate. With these tips, everything will run smoothly after training.
* The information listed here is not a substitute for professional advice or treatment by a professionally trained doctor. Our content cannot and must not be used independently to make diagnoses or begin treatments.