After fitness: What to do and take and use after the work out



After fitness:Most people know that prior to starting an exercise program, they should warm up. This may involve light jogging, stretching the arms and legs and move the body around to get the heart pumping and loosen the joints. However, what most people do not know that after an exercise program, one should also allow the body to rest and recover. This involves taking time to let the heart recover, cool down, hydrate the body, and provide nourishment. Simply wiping oneself off and going home is not the proper way to end a workout. Taking care of the body after an exercise program is just as important after exercising. Allowing the body to recover helps muscles recover faster, increases flexibility in joints and more importantly decreases soreness in muscles. So what is the best way to end an exercise program? No matter what the duration of an exercise program, establishing a decent after workout routine is vital to help prevent injury and muscle sprains. The better you look after your body after exercise, the better you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Stretch after Your Workout

While no one argues that stretching is of benefit prior to exercise, there is a lot of recent evidence suggesting that one should also stretch after an exercise program. Stretching is an excellent way of preventing muscle injuries but if one has to perform these warm up exercises only once- then one should perform them after the actual workout and just prior to cooling down. When the muscles are warm, stretching is easier, the joint remains supple, and blood flow is maximal. There is no one set of stretching exercise that is recommended. Any type of light stretching or jogging is beneficial. Some individuals may find it more comfortable to perform stretching exercise after they have cooled down. There are some fitness experts who recommend cooling down to slow the heart rate first and then stretching afterwards.

Cool Down

After fitness or any fitness exercise, do not just pack your bags and drive home. Learn to cool down. Stretching by itself does not cool the body down. When you cool down the blood flow to the heart, lung, and brain slows down and adjusts back to normal. This helps eliminate soreness, strain and muscle pain. It also helps one from developing dizziness, fainting, or nausea after a workout. To cool down, gently decreases your exercise activity to a level that allows your heart rate to slow. For example, a gently five minute walk on treadmill works quite well.

Stay Hydrated

All individuals who exercise know the importance of being well hydrated during the workout, but hydration is just as important after the workout. Drinking 2-4 glasses of water or any other non-caffeine beverage will help quench the thirst and keep you hydrated, and prevent muscle spasms.

Eat a Mixture of Protein and Carbs

All types of exercises burn energy and thus it is important to repair muscle and replenish energy sources of the body. The best time to eat is within 60-90 minutes of completing the work out. Any sooner may make you more tired and bloated. The best foods to eat are a mixture of high protein and complex carbohydrate foods. Proteins help build and repair muscles and the carbohydrates provide energy. Foods that are recommended post workouts include whole wheat bread, nuts, fruits, cheese yogurt, or raw vegetables. Eating a healthy meal after workouts also helps decrease muscle pain and spasms. Therefore, the next time you go for a workout, remember the essentials- do not forget to warm up after exercise, cool down, drink lots of fluids, and eat healthy.