Post Workout Routines Proven to Max Out the Workout
Athletes sitting in tubs of ice. Or getting a massage. Or drinking that protein shake. Or doing any of the other things that they do post- sport event. What’s up with that? Are they just being high-maintenance, a little bit entitled, or is there science to back up all this aftercare business?
It turns out that post workout routines, such as massage and chowing down on protein, are a good idea. Here are some common post workout routines, why they work, and how you can benefit from them, too.
The sports therapist massage.
Probably the post care routine you’ve seen the most, and for good reason. Massage has been proven to aid muscle recovery times and help prevent muscle imbalance and injuries related to that. Massage also just plain feels good, which aids athletes who may be feeling sore after an exercise session. The good news is that you can incorporate a massage session into your own workout plans, even if you don’t have access to a sports therapist. Try an at-home handheld massager, which you can use as a tool to massage your legs, your shoulders, or other sore muscle groups.
The post workout protein shake.
Muscled men and their… milkshakes. It sounds like a set up for a joke. But it’s a thing that’s been happening for a while. In fact, many gyms include a juice bar on their premises because they know what their gym-goers want. And they also know why. Protein helps to repair muscle. And after any kind of intense physical activity or exercise, your muscles need repair.
So how much protein should you eat after a workout? Men’s Health says about 20 grams. They also suggest whey powder as an easy way to get in that recommended amount. You can buy whey powder that is packaged in the right size at any fitness store and many wholesale stores as well.
Sleep sessions or post workout catnaps.
The many health benefits of sleep could fill several articles all on its own. But there are reasons specific to athletes why sleep is an important aspect of a post workout routine. First, sleep has been shown to improve reaction times. So in a field, like sports, where split seconds matter, not getting enough sleep the night before an event can mean a win or a loss. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to impair judgement and make athletes more prone to injury. But one of the most well-known reasons athletes prioritize sleep is for muscle recovery.
When you sleep, your body works on repairs. If your car needs repairs, you wouldn’t think of using while repairs are being done, right? In the same way, your body waits until its operating functions are at a low capacity (sleep) before getting to work. Certain hormones connected to the repair and restoration of cells are released in greater measure when you sleep. So now you have a pretty good excuse for that catnap.
If you watch enough interviews with top-level athletes, or read sports memoirs, you’ll discover this one. Visualization plays an important role in an athlete’s life. Before a workout or sport event, visualization exercises may include visualizing the perfect form. Or the desired outcome. Post-workout, visualization is just as important in replacing any bad imagery with good imagery once again. And re-establishing the best-outcome imagery. And according to many studies done over the years, it’s not hocus-pocus.
The best part about visualization is that it requires no equipment and it costs nothing. All you need is your mind and learning a few techniques and you’re on the road to a better performance. Start with seeing in your mind the desired outcome of your exercise performance. Move on to how this performance feels to your different senses. Call up this image both before and after your exercise session or sport event to see improvements in your performance.
Incorporate a few of the above ideas into your post workout routine. And you could be getting all the benefits of a top athlete’s post workout routine at a fraction of the cost.