A good workout isn't just about what happens when you are burning those calories. What you do immediately after exercising affects how your body reacts and responds to your hard work, so make the most of your next sweat session with these post-workout must dos.
- Rehydrate: Not drinking enough during your workout can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and headaches afterward, so save yourself from a bad day and take a water break after your workout. If you've just finished a particularly intense workout, a sports drink or coconut water may be better: they will help replenish electrolytes like sodium and potassium that you've lost during your workout. Whatever you choose, make sure you're replenishing lost water stores in your body as soon as possible after a workout.
- Stretch out: Never finish a workout without spending a few minutes stretching your tired muscles; giving your body a much-needed stretch will ensure that you increase your flexibility and ease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the next day. These post-workout stretches are great no matter what your workout of choice.
- Grab a snack: That little post-workout snack offers more benefits than just quieting hunger — it also helps you get the most benefits from your workout. Your snack should be a mix of protein and carbs: eating protein after exercise helps rebuild muscles that you've just been working on while also helping to ease DOMS, and the carbs will help replenish your energy. These 150-calorie post-workout snacks are the perfect combination of both.
- Don't undo your work: You've put in the time — now make sure that you aren't overcompensating with a high-calorie rest of your day. Use your completed workout as motivation to make healthier choices throughout the day and don't justify that ice cream sundae just because you've burned calories this morning. Focus on eating fresh foods and treat yourself to one of these 150-calorie desserts instead.