So you did the hard part, you got up and went to the gym (or the All Star Sports Academy), but now what? Our workout is not done, yet. We began by eating a healthy and balanced meal before our exercise, but now it is crucial to replenish our muscles and make sure that we do not diminish them. Last week, we talked about which food groups and some example meals we should eat before our games, or a workout. This week we will discuss ways to make sure our bodies are recovering from our hard work.
Right after our workout, we should drink fluids. Water is always the safe choice but it is recommended to also have a sports drink after a workout, because they provide sugars and electrolytes. Electrolytes are important to have because it will reenergize your body, rather feeling fatigue and groggy. Try to stay away from sports or energy drinks other than post workout because of the high levels of sugar. After we restore our fluids, we want to make sure we do a light cool down and stretch before ending our workout.
When we are on our way home, we should try to unwind our brain and relax our bodies. We can do this by maybe listening to soft playing music, taking a quiet walk, or even sitting in the car or your room with no sounds to relax our brains after our body has just been in such a high energy demanding state. We need to make sure we restore mentally and physically to be able to perform and function for whatever is left of our day. Once we get home, we should take a shower immediately and alternate our water temperature. We would ideally want to alternate from a cold to warm water temp every 30 seconds. This might sound a little crazy, but it is extremely beneficial to your muscles. By using the cold water, we are decreasing the swelling of our muscles and repairing them, just as ice would do for an injury. But then alternating to hot water, we are soothing our muscles and skin by the heat relaxing our bodies and opening up our pores. This makes our body feel “good.” We should do this about 4 times in the shower, and then end with warm water for the rest of our usual shower routine. Finally, when we get out of the shower, do a long and relaxed static stretch and feel our muscles relax.
After we have finished showering, and changed into clean clothes it is vital that we eat a healthy balanced meal within the first hour post workout. Our meal should include an increased amount of carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will allow our body to restore our energy and protein will restore our muscles and prevent any breakdown. This is the most important part of our recovery process after our workout. Remember from our last blog, whatever we put into our bodies will reflect what it will look and feel like outside. After we eat, rest, and get ready to do it all over again the following day!