Post-Workout Tips For Healthy Exercise

Taking the time to practice healthy post-workout habits is essential to maintaining your exercise routine over time.

During the lush green days of June, it’s easy to find motivation to get outside and keep your exercise routine on track. You know that regular exercise is essential to good health—but did you know that following proper post-workout habits is also important to sustaining your exercise routine over time?

When you exercise, the demands of activity cause your muscles to undergo “micro-trauma.” Your tissues need this stress in order to improve their function and performance. Your post-workout recovery is an opportunity to link the short-term immediate benefits of exercise to a long-term, lasting fitness outcome. Recovery is your chance to help your body build toward greater strength and resilience.

We have tips for you to follow that will help you maximize your workout benefits and reduce the risk of developing an injury.

  • Stretch. When you stretch after exercise, you help maintain the flexibility of tissues that are tight or stiff from activity. Static or isolated stretches, in which you hold a stretch position for at least 30 seconds, are good post-workout choices.
  • Nutrition. Your body needs a well-balanced array of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to rebuild tissues that have been stressed during exercise. A post-workout meal featuring well-rounded carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats will help you get the greatest benefit from all of your hard work.
  • Hydration. After your workout, your body needs water to replace the fluids you lost during exercise. Water also helps regulate your temperature and maintain healthy joints. If you keep a water bottle accessible in your gym bag, car, or workplace, you’ll always have fluids within reach after you wrap up your routine.

Listen to your body. If you feel discomfort or swelling in a joint—your knee, ankle, or shoulder—after exercise, remember the “RICE” (rest, ice, compression, elevation) strategy to treat inflammation and pain. If these symptoms last more than a few days, consider consulting your physician.

Follow these habits, and let your body be your guide. When you feel tired or sore, give yourself a little more time between workouts to recover. When you feel great, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself a bit more, as long as you do so gradually. Practicing healthy post-workout habits can help you to stay safely active over time.

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