Let’s face it, we’ve all had those days where we just do not feel like going to the gym, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Finding the motivation to workout when it’s freezing outside or when you’re just too exhausted can be extremely difficult. Exercising at home is a good way to alleviate some of the hesitations you feel when debating whether or not you want to drive to the gym. Instead of having to commute, you can exercise in the comfort of your home. A common misconception about working out at home is that it won’t be as intense or productive as it would be at the gym. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. With the right easy to use equipment, you can have a good workout regardless of where you are.
As with any exercise routine, it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself afterward. Let’s take a look at some things you should do to wind down at home after every workout:
What to Do Immediately After A Workout
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t drink enough water after exercising. Often, people only drink sports drinks or sip water occasionally. While that may work for some, it’s not a good habit to start because water better replenishes the liquids, electrolytes, and sodium you’ve lost, so you need to make sure you’re getting the proper amount. Also, if you are someone who is trying to build muscle, hydration is key since your muscles cannot repair themselves without water. How much water you need when exercising varies as there are many factors that can influence the amount. Buying a large water bottle that can hold more than the average container will help to increase the amount of water you drink.
Most people stretch before working out, but how many stretch afterward? Stretching after an intense workout may seem like the last thing you want to do, but it can really help you. While you may have thought nothing could make that post-workout high feel even better, stretching has been known to enhance that feeling. Stretching accelerates the release of endorphins, therefore, letting you feel runners high just a little quicker than normal. Aside from that, stretching can also help to relieve sore muscles, regulate blood flow, and relax the body. Post-workout stretches do not have to take a long time. Doing even a quick 5-minute stretch will help you in the long run.
After exercising our breathing tends to be fast and erratic. While you are taking in air, it’s not good to breathe this way for extended periods of time because it can lead to hyperventilation. There are better ways to breathe that promote relaxation and don’t result in feeling light-headed or passing out. Deep breathing can have restorative and therapeutic properties if done right. These techniques are often used in yoga and are great for your post-workout wind-down. To start off, lie down on your back with a hand on your abdomen, take a big breath in, and exhale slowly until all the air is gone. Exhaling a few seconds longer than when inhaling has a calming effect on the body and mind. At first, this may be hard because your breathing will be fast and irregular from working out, but after a few minutes, it should come naturally. If you need help, there are many free tutorials on deep breathing that you can find online.
What to Do Later On
This is an extremely important one because sleep is how your body repairs and restores itself after a hard day. If you’ve engaged in a lot of intense physical activity, the only way to recuperate is to get a good night’s rest. During sleep, your body repairs the damage that you have done to your muscles. Without adequate rest, your body will not be able to properly heal itself. Making sure that you’re getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep is one of the best ways to recover after a hard exercise session. For anyone who works out regularly and also has trouble sleeping, try to rectify the situation quickly.
If your bed’s uncomfortable, consider buying a new supportive mattress. If you need complete darkness, try a sleeping mask. If the silence bothers you, purchase a white noise machine. Try a variety of things to help you get a better night’s rest because a lack of shut-eye will not only affect how you exercise but your overall well-being.
It’s normal to feel super hungry after exercising. You’ve just lost a lot of calories, so it’s only right that your body wants to replenish what it’s lost. Eating something after working out can make you feel more energized and refreshed. Sometimes you have somewhere to go afterward or you’re just not hungry, but try to eat something because even a light snack, like a nutritious protein bar, can do wonders. Your body will need to refuel as it has lost a lot of energy during your exercise session. Eating protein-rich foods like eggs, greek yogurt, and chicken will help to restore amino acids and aid in muscle repair. While carbs like rice, potatoes, and spinach will help replenish your energy. Being able to eat a well-balanced meal or snack after exercising is another perk of working out at home. You don’t have to drive all the way to your house to eat and it prevents you from potentially stopping at a fast-food restaurant because you’re starving.
You should not immediately do anything strenuous for the rest of the day if you’ve exercised. Take it easy because you’ve just put a lot of stress on your body and if you’re engaging in too many demanding activities you can hurt yourself. Recovering from an injury you’ve sustained from working out is never fun and you also don’t want to negate all the hard work you’ve put in. Relaxing can be as simple as sitting on your couch and putting on your favorite show or curling up with a good book. Anything that doesn’t require too much physical activity is good.
Winding down after an intense workout is critical. Make sure you’re prioritizing your health, so you can have the best at-home workout possible.
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