Think You’re Done With Your Workout? Think Again.
Your workout’s done. You’ve given it your all and pushed yourself further than you thought you could. Think you’re done? Think again.
To maximize your results, and to get the most out of each rep and each moment of cardio and to keep yourself as healthy as possible, there are five simple steps you need to do before you can say “my workout is done.”
1. Drink your post workout supplement!
After your workout, you have a one hour window when your body is at its optimal best to absorb nutrition and replenish your aching muscles with badly needed glycogen. My suggestion? If you’ve completed a strength/resistance workout, use the Body Beast supplement line. If your workout was more core and cardio based, try P90X Recovery Drink. (And yes, the rumors are true – according to nutrition guru Steve Edwards, beer, while not as effective as a true recovery formula, is better at replenishing what your body needs than just water. But my advice? If you’re going to go the beer route, you’d better have really EARNED that beer, if you know what I mean. Not all beers are created equal too.)
Trust me, I know how easy it is to finish that last exercise, check out your pump and say, “I don’t need to stretch.” But you do. It’s essential to cool down and stretch not just to let your heart rate return to its normal level, but to prevent soreness and injury in the muscles you just worked (or overworked).
3. Air out your equipment.
Many of us use workout gloves to get a better grip (Okay, I know there are purist out there who argue that working out with bare hands are more ‘manly’….. lets just say that sweaty hands would do much better with gloves or gym chalk) then, after the workout, shove them back in your gym bag, making them a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other nasty stuff. Let them air out and dry first. And if you’re using a yoga mat? Do the same thing – roll it out and let it BREATHE and dry for 30 minutes. And once a month, wipe it down with a mild bleach solution.
4. Change your clothes!
Yes, sometimes if you’re working out at the gym it’s easier to change clothes later. But when you do, staying in those sweaty clothes can sometimes lead to acne breakouts or yeast infections. Even if you don’t have time to shower – change into something dry before heading out.
5. Wash your hands thoroughly
Doesn’t hurt to keep hand sanitizer in your gym bag. Who knows how many people have touched that gym equipment before you did. And who KNOWS when the last time THEY washed their hands was. There have been reports that some people got staph infections from using public gym…. rare case, but it can happen. Do yourself a favor – sanitize your hands as often as you can and keep your hands away from your face during your workout. I work out at the beach using public equipment, and I’m constantly sanitizing my hands. Do I get funny looks? Sometimes. Do I catch colds from using the equipment? Nope.
Follow these five steps after your done with your workout and you’re that much closer to a stronger and healthier you.
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