Post-Workout Tips For Healthy Exercise
Taking the time to practice a healthy post-workout routine 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 habits on track. You know that regular exercise is essential to good health—but did you know that following a proper post-workout routine is also important to sustaining your exercise routine over time?
Recovery time is important
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.
What factors into a healthy post-workout routine?
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.
Follow the signs
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.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
More resources for you
- Should Athletes Drink Less Water In Colder Weather?
- Ask Athletic Trainer Erik Collins: How Do Good Hydration Habits Improve Your Game?
- Water: It Is What Your Body Needs
- Water Goes Hand-in-Hand with Healthy Nutrition
- Quick Tips to Wellness: Plank Exercises Build A Stronger Core
- Fitness Safety: When To See Your Physician Before Exercising
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These arthritis-safe exercise guidelines will help you confidently maintain an exercise program that won’t cause further damage to your joints.