Rushing off to the changing room for a shower after a gruelling workout? Before you do that, find out how to get back in action quicker and stronger than before, by following this perfect post-workout routine.
Time: + 2 Minutes
Do This: Go Slow
Slow down, don’t stop. Studies in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that active recovery after exercise encourages repair. “Simply walk slowly around the gym,” says Janet Hamilton, author of Running Strong And Injury Free.
Time: + 10 Minutes
Do This: Hot And Cold Shower
In your post-exercise shower, alternate between 2 minutes hot with 30 seconds cold. Australian research reported in Sportsmed News found this hot-cold contrast hydrotherapy boosted muscle recovery and mental freshness.
Time: + 15 Minutes
Do This: Get Your Shake
Take in carbs as well as protein in your post-workout shake. “Lack of carbs leaves you at risk of muscle damage, and they trigger an insulin spike, which speeds nutrients into your muscle tissue,” says UK-based sports nutritionist Karen Reid. “Mix a post-workout shake of three parts carbs and one part protein,” says John Ivy, author of Nutrient Timing.
Time: + 90 Minutes
Do This: Consume Carbs
“Eat a meal packed with carbs to restock the glycogen that you’ve just burned off,” says Ivy. “White” carbs like rice or bread will work fastest.
Time: + 6 Hours
Do This: Easy Jogging
You get a surge of human growth hormones (HGH) an hour after going to sleep, according to University of Texas research. But poor sleep quality limits HGH secretion. If you’ve exercised earlier in the day, upgrade your snoozing with a light early evening jog. University of Sao Paulo research in Brazil found moderate aerobic exercise in the evenings makes you fall asleep quicker, wake up less and increase total sleep time.
Time: + 24 Hours
Do This: Lift Light Weights
Australian researchers found that men who lifted light weights the day after a hard workout reported a 40 per cent decrease in muscle soreness compared to those who didn’t exercise. By increasing blood flow to damaged muscle tissue, light exercise speeds recovery. If you can’t make the gym, do two sets of 20 press- ups the day after bench presses, or bodyweight squats following an intense leg session.