How to Take Care of Yourself After a Workout

We’ve already touched on the importance of exercise for your family, as well as the importance
of self-care as a mum. So, how can you combine the two?

Almost everyone knows that getting regular exercise can help to give you more energy, keep you in
shape (especially if you need your strength to run after multiple little ones!), and make you feel good.
But, what you do before and after a good workout is often just as important as the exercise, itself!

If you don’t take the right steps to care for yourself after exercising, your recovery time will be longer,
and you won’t be able to work out as frequently. You might also burn out faster which can lead you to
not want to exercise as much. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle that can easily be prevented with a
few post-workout tips for all body types and all fitness levels. 

Eat and Drink the Right Things

When you exercise, your body loses a lot of things it needs to function properly. The most important
thing you should do after a workout is replenishing your fluids. In fact, you should start drinking plenty
of water before your workout. About two hours beforehand, drink 15-20 ounces of water so you can
stay hydrated through your routine, and keep drinking throughout. Save your “heavy guzzling” for
when you’re done so you don’t get a cramp while you’re exercising. 

It’s also important to replenish your body with healthy food. While it can be tempting to reach for your
little one’s leftover macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator, opt for something that will repair your
muscles and speed up your recovery within 60 minutes of your workout. Something with a good bit
of protein and a few carbohydrates is perfect. Some tasty post-workout snack ideas include: 

  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter or almond butter

  • Pita and hummus

  • Low-fat chocolate milk

  • Protein shake with a banana

  • Small apple and cheddar cheese

Move and Stretch

One of the worst things you can do after a workout is to suddenly stop. Don’t finish your workout and
then sit down. That can contribute to muscle aches and can make the next time you exercise even
harder. If you have an issue like arthritis, an arthritic gel can help with some of the pain, but you can
reduce inflammation and irritation even more by performing a proper “cool down.” 

When you’re done working out, slow down your heart rate gradually by walking, shaking out your
muscles, etc. This will help to improve circulation and repair your muscles faster. 

After your heart rate has come down, don’t forget to stretch! Gentle stretching will help your muscles
to recover, and it will feel great!

Get More Sleep

You might find it hard to get as much sleep as you’d like to when you’re a parent, but it’s really crucial
to your overall health and wellbeing. 

Not only will getting enough sleep give you more energy throughout the day, but it is the best way to
repair your muscles quickly. Sleep is when your body produces Growth Hormone, which is necessary
for tissue repair. So, if you’re working out regularly and not getting enough sleep, you might feel more
pain and ache in your muscles. Do what you can to form a healthy sleep routine, and try getting an
extra hour or two every night. 

Don’t Overdo It

Exercising on your own or as a family can feel great and it has so many benefits. But, it’s important
not to overdo it. You can, indeed, have “too much of a good thing.” 

As a parent, it’s easy to burn out quickly if you’re pushing yourself too hard. While setting fitness goals
and working hard to achieve them is a great motivational tool, you also need to be realistic. Consider
the time you have, the goals you’re setting, and why you want to accomplish them. 

On top of being good for you, exercise should also be enjoyable. The more you do enjoy it, the more
likely you are to stick with it and make it a part of your lifestyle, rather than just something you’re doing
to lose weight or gain muscle. When you’re constantly pushing yourself harder and harder, you’re less
likely fo find enjoyment in what you’re doing. 

Plus, when you show your children how much fun exercise can be, you’re more likely to get them
interested as well, making fitness a priority for the whole family!

So, be sure to take care of yourself on your health and fitness journey and keep these tips in mind for
your post-workout routine. When you do, you’ll feel better and be able to perform better, in the long run. 

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