Going to the gym (or doing any form of exercise) can be good for you in so many ways. It can help you lose weight, help you maintain a body you are proud of and means you are at a much lower risk of getting sick. It is also extremely good for your mental well being too, as exercise releases endorphins in the body otherwise known as ‘happy hormones’. Ever noticed how great you feel after an awesome workout? That’s your endorphins coming into play. But you may also notice that after the gym, you feel pretty pumped up and energetic. This again can be a good feeling, but there are some situations where you really need to relax after the gym (for example, if you have to attend the gym late at night).
Winding down and relaxing after the gym is an important part of your workout – here are some of the ways you can do it.
Stretch and eat some post-workout food
Most people know to stretch out their muscles before a workout – but in reality, it is even more important to stretch out the muscles AFTER a workout too. When you are exercising, lactic acid is produced in the muscles, which can build up and lead to the feeling of soreness after exercising. By stretching out, you give your body the chance to soothe this lactic acid away, providing your muscles with less of a shock to the system. Implement a cool-down routine into your workout that lasts for around ten minutes or so. You should also make sure that you eat some food that will help to replenish your body after the exercise you’ve done. Protein is the most important thing here, so if you just want a snack after the gym try having a protein shake. If you are hungry enough for a full meal, try some oily fish, rice and steamed vegetables.
Workouts, especially high-intensity ones, can leave you feeling very hyped up and pumped. Your mental state can easily become heightened and you may feel like you are able to carry on exercising for hours. It is important, however, to know your limits. Meditation can be a great way to bring you back down to earth after a workout and it can even help you focus more clearly on your fitness goals. Put a flower of life cushion in your home that you can have as your designated meditation area and listen to a guided meditation track to help calm your mind.
Take a hot shower or bath
As well as feeling hot and sweaty after a gym session, our muscles can also feel extremely tired and heavy. Hot water is proven to help relax the muscles, and you can even add certain salts or oils to your bath to help your body recover. Lavender and chamomile are both said to have particularly calming effects. It is also important that you clean yourself efficiently after a workout, as the buildup of sweat can easily clog your pores. A good body scrub can clean deep into your skin and leave you feeling refreshed and ready for a relaxing evening.