It’s no secret that sometimes making it to the gym or heading out for a run can be hard. Between work, friends and family commitments, exercise is often low on the list of priorities. For many of us, squeezing in a workout is an accomplishment in itself and after a satisfying sweat session it can be tempting to grab a burger and press play on Netflix.
However ask any expert and they will tell you that what you do after a workout is just as important as they workout itself. In a recent interview with Byrdie, fitness guru Kayla Itsines opened up about her post-workout routine and explained the importance of caring for your body after a workout.
While you may not think it’s all that important, Kayla explained that stretching after every single workout is crucial in helping your body to recover. “Try to include stretches that work multiple muscle groups to ensure you’re stretching your full body, some including, pecs, arms, abs, chest, thighs, and calves,” she said. Kayla suggests that it is a good idea to incorporate “foam rolling and stretching into [your] weekly training schedules.”
Not only does stretching help to increase blood flow to your muscles, but it also helps to improve flexibility, mobility and helps to decrease the chance of injury by helping your muscles to warm down. For optimum results, experts recommend holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds to ensure that you allow enough time for your muscles to properly lengthen.
Another vital post-workout step is making sure that you fuel and nourish your body properly. Eating a meal or snack that is rich in both carbohydrates and protein is the best possible thing for your body after a workout as this will help to give your body energy and also aid your muscle recovery.
At the end of the day, it’s all about doing what is good for your body and making sure that you are aware of what your body is trying to tell you. “Listen to your body and fuel your body with the food that makes you feel good,” Kayla concluded.