10 Ways to Feel Great After a Workout
We all know the importance of exercise and that we should be doing some form of strength training to keep our bodies strong, prevent osteoporosis, raise endorphins and just live longer. I love working out, after all I used to be a personal trainer.
How you recover after a workout is almost as important as the workout itself. Not only will it have a direct impact on your hormones but it will also dictate how you feel after your workout. Chances are if you’re re-fueling incorrectly you won’t feel too good after a workout and you won’t be very motivated to keep up your exercise routine.
Here are some great tips I’ve learned over the years to help you feel amazing.
- Use a foam roller. In my experience foam rolling will reduce soreness and tightness more than just stretching, it can also help make you more flexible and prevent injuries.
- Have a protein shake. Aim for about 15-20 grams of protein and stick with whey protein since it tends to be faster to digest and also provides non-essential amino acids for fast tissue repair.
- Have some greens. Adding a scoop of green powder to your protein or even having a fresh juice of fresh vegetables will help reduce acidity in your body, neutralizing lactic acid from an intense strength training workout which will help reduce muscle aches.
- Eat antioxidant rich, inflammation fighting foods. You should really eat these all the time but especially in the meal following a workout since they can help you with recovery and keep soreness away. Great fruits and veggies to try are: blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, pomegranate, cherries, apples, walnuts, almonds, omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, herring and other fatty fish), ginger and red pepper.
- Take fish oil. If you normally take fish oil 2 times a day save one of those servings for right after your workout. It will help reduce cortisol levels after a workout and lower inflammation.
- Try Vitamin C. Another great way to help metabolize the cortisol that you produce during a workout is to take about 5 grams of vitamin C after a workout, the harder you worked the more you’ll want.
- Choose green tea. If you like going out for a cup of coffee after your workout it’s time to switch to green tea. Coffee right after a workout can delay recovery by inhibiting your body’s ability to get rid of cortisol. Green tea on the other hand is rich in antioxidants that accelerate recovery.
- Apply magnesium to your sore muscles. If you’ve had a very tough workout and are still feeling a little sore try applying some topical magnesium. It will help reduce inflammation and helps buffer lactic acid, which will help get rid of some of the soreness.
- Take a long walk. If you’re new to strength training alternate one day of strength training with a nice long walk. Walking has always helped me, and my clients, get rid of any soreness so you’re ready for your next strength training session.
- 10. Sleep. This is probably the toughest one for me. Getting enough sleep is crucial to helping your body recover properly. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night.