After exercising, many people feel a strange mix of relaxation and stress. Endorphins are flowing after a span of time spent on a rewarding, comforting activity – depending on the intensity of the exercise that’s been undertaken, of course. However, time pressures (‘I’ve got to be on a train in forty minutes!’) can cut the post-exercise afterglow short. It can seem like there are a million things to do, without the span required to do any of them.
To avoid post-exercise panic, it’s important to develop some sort of routine. There are certain tasks that, despite being time-consuming, absolutely must be ticked off if your exercise is going to be beneficial.
This might seem obvious, but you need to cool down after exercising. A surprising number of people forego post-exercise stretches in the rush to get on with things. This approach, though, sees exercisers bypass what might be the most important injury prevention tactic that they have at their disposal.
Stretching allows individuals to catch their breath – literally and figuratively. From a psychological and emotional point of view, taking a few minutes to cool down will establish a sense of calm. Stretching also helps to reduce muscle fatigue, and improve circulation. It can even help exercisers to pick up on any niggling aches or pains that they might otherwise miss.
These days, entire supermarket shelves stacked with pre-, during- and post-exercise drinks are a common sight. The sheer amount of choice available to shoppers can be perplexing. The best option largely hinges on the duration and intensity of the exercise being undertaken, plus the fitness of the individual.
In general, short bouts of exercise should be accompanied by water. However, those exercising for an hour or more at a time should consider sports drinks like Gatorade. This is because they hydrate the body, and also provide much-needed sodium and carbohydrates that will keep up energy levels and can also help to avoid cramping.
After exercise, some form of drink is certainly needed. Water is, in many cases, your best bet; it will help to cool the body and offers the most natural form of hydration. However, water won’t top up your carbohydrate levels – something you’ll need to consider when deciding what to eat (see below). Alternatively, ‘recovery drinks’ allow exercisers to bounce back and perform well when they next exercise – the downside is that they’re clearly much more expensive.
Shower and moisturise
Having sweated out toxins from the body, all exercisers should be vigilant in making sure that they clean their skin properly. Failure to take a shower or bath could result in a build-up of these toxins being worse than before, potentially leading to acne break-outs. Plus, you’re bound to be rather smelly.
In addition to bodily toxins, other things like sunscreen and chlorine should be washed off. Mere soap may not be enough; botanical bath products & body scrub in Australia could be required to ensure that the body is fully clean.
After this, the exerciser should follow their normal skincare routine. In many cases, this will involve facial & body skincare products in Australia, aiming to protect the skin from sun damage and ageing.
Between 20-60 minutes after exercising, food should be consumed. This bracket of time allows the ingestion of foods without making the exerciser feel bloated or lethargic. Nutrient-dense foods containing good doses of cabohydrates and proteins are recommended to bolster energy levels. Foods like eggs, vegetables and fish are ideal.
Eating within the 20-60 minute bracket should be feasible, assuming you don’t spend too long in the shower and you haven’t taken too long enjoying your Crabtree & Evelyn bath products. If you’re exercising at the gym, you should try and bring your food with you inn a Tupperware container – this will ensure that you’re within the desired time-frame.
Enjoy the endorphins
If you’ve undertaken the correct process, you should spend the rest of the day (or at the least the morning) on a white, fluffy cloud of endorphins. Enjoy it – you’ve earned it.