Top 10 Post Workout Tips for Women

If you’re like many women who want to get in shape, you probably focus a lot more on what to do during your exercise routine than you do post workout. But the things you do right after you feel the burn can be just as important as your actual workout plan.  

To help you get the most from your full body workout at Curves, here are some post workout tips:

Cool things down.

No matter the exercise, resistance training or intense cardio, a proper cool down is a critical part of exercise recovery. When you exercise, your temperature goes up and your blood vessels dilate. As you finish moving, it’s important to let those responses return to normal gradually so you don’t get dizzy or lightheaded. Finish your workout by stretching or light walking for a few minutes to ease your body into post workout mode. 1

Stretch it out.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s more important to stretch as part of post workout recovery than it is to stretch before you exercise. Muscles stretch best when they’re warm, which is after you’ve engaged in a full body workout. For maximum exercise recovery, stretch each of your major muscle groups. 2 Here are some good stretches for women.

Chug-a-lug.

As you work up a good sweat during the Curves circuit, you lose water—about one to four percent of your body weight each hour to be precise. Failing to replenish that water can put you at risk for dehydration and an irregular heart rate. To put it back, drink at least a few cups of water post workout. If you want to be precise, weigh yourself right before and right after your full body workout. For each pound of H2O you’ve lost during exercise, you’ll need to drink about 1.5 pounds of water (equal to about three cups). 3

But don’t chug beer.

Or any other alcoholic beverage, for that matter. Not only does drinking alcohol after your workout undo your exercise by adding excess calories, it also interferes with the muscle building you worked so hard for. In one study, athletes engaged in an intense training session and then drank six screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice) in the following three hours. Their muscle protein synthesis decreased by 37% compared to athletes who abstained. 4

Keep your diet balanced.

We often hear about the importance of eating protein post workout for muscle recovery—which is no doubt a good idea—but healthy fats and complex carbs play a role as well. Try to eat foods that contain all three of these nutrients within the first 20 minutes of your exercise recovery, as well as throughout the rest of your day. 5

Fight inflammation with food.

Some soreness after exercise is a good thing—it reminds you that you worked hard. But too much inflammation in your muscles and joints can lead to injury and sideline you from your workout plan. To keep it down, eat anti-inflammatory foods as part of your exercise recovery routine. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, avocados, and walnuts can help keep post workout inflammation down. 6

Put stock in sleep.

Some key parts of exercise recovery are the things you do hours after you leave the gym. One example: sleep. Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night will help your body heal after working out so you get maximum benefits.7 Ironically, regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to induce quality sleep, as is eating a healthy diet, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and staying at a healthy weight.8

Roll with it.

Early studies show that using a foam roller after your workout can help you recover from exercise and increase your range of motion. A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training found that foam rolling can decrease post workout muscle soreness and therefore help you perform better the next time you hit your women’s fitness club. 9

Crack open a coconut.

Or a can. Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes, minerals that keep your body hydrated so your muscles and nerves can function properly. You lose electrolytes as you sweat it out in the circuit, and a serving of electrolyte and potassium-rich coconut water in the workout recovery period can help you replace what you’ve lost. 10

Start planning a different workout for the next day.

Your actual workout plan can play a role in recovery between exercise sessions. The best routine consists of some days where you push yourself to the max and others when you take it easy. This on again, off again approach gives your body the post workout rest it needs. 11

 

Sources:

  1. What to Do After a Workout
  2. Guide to Stretches
  3. The Exact Amount Of Water You Need To Drink After A Workout
  4. Alcohol ingestion impairs maximal post-exercise rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis following a singe bout of concurrent training
  5. What to Do After a Workout
  6. The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise
  7. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
  8. 100 Simple Strategies to Sleep Better Every Night
  9. Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery dynamic performance measures
  10. Post workout habits to make and break
  11. 8 ways to maximize your post workout recovery

 

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