You’ve pressed, flexed and stretched your way through an arduous gym session, and despite how hard you might have pushed, it doesn’t end there.
Yes, training is the main element of fitness, but it won’t work alone. To truly maximise all that sweat (and, hopefully, no blood or tears) your fitness routine must continue beyond the gym’s four walls.
Accredited personal trainer Dan Conn from F45 Double Bay in Sydney shares with us the four best things you can do for yourself after training – and the three worst – so all that hard work (never mind, those high-flying endorphins) doesn’t go to waste… or come crashing down.
First up, you must refuel and hydrate. “This includes a post-workout snack packed with nutrients – protein is important for muscle repair – and I cannot overstate the importance of hydration. But you probably already knew that.”
“Stretching and cooling down efficiently is crucial, too,” says Conn. So before you skip right out of there to enjoy the aforementioned meal, make sure you complete a round of stretches that will complement your work-out – this will increase your results and decrease your risk of injury.
“Release any sore muscles with foam rollers or trigger points,” says Conn. The trainers at your gym will be able to tell you what these are, and it’s also a good opportunity for you to ask them any questions about what you’ve done in that session, and how you can take things to the next level, next time.
Otherwise, another simple thing you can do when you’ve finished your workout is simply book in your next session. “Structure will keep you focused, and planning is crucial, when it comes to achieving your long-term fitness goals,” says Conn.
In terms of what you should avoid, food and sitting come in at the top the list. “Consuming the wrong foods – whether they are fatty, high GI, fried or packed with empty calories – almost renders all that training you’ve done obsolete,” says Conn. Make sure you enjoy healthy wholefoods, and avoid the ‘I worked out – I deserve it’ trap.
“Despite how tired you might be, sitting still pools the blood flow and will not aid the recovery process at all. Instead, go for a short walk to wind down or cook a wholesome meal when you get home. This way, you’ll be standing and moving around, to some degree,” says Conn.
“Drinking coffee also kills the good vibes,” says Conn, so hold off caffeinated drinks for at least half an hour, and let your endorphins do the work.
October 27, 20167:43am