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What to Do After a Workout

When Exercise is Over, the Work Isn't


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    This needs to be updated. Stretching before a workout can cause damage to tissues and eating that much after a workout should be reserved for endurance athletes. The rest of us surely don't work THAT hard for that long, to require that much fuel to rebuild tissue. Besides if you have really broken down that much muscle you are endangering yourself not exercising. What happened to common sense?
    I Agree You should always do a cool down after any workout, I myself do Turbo Kickboxing and after I am done the most important thing to do after all that kicking and cardio is a cool down with streches! :)
  • MEEWOK78
    I love this advice. I usually work out during my lunch break 4-5 times/wk (I'm fortunate enough to work for an employer that allows me to take 2.5-hr breaks in the middle of the day). I've noticed a real change in my body, not only from exercising every day, but from doing 3 things right after my workout: drinking lots of water, eating plenty of protein & low-glycemic carbs, and avoiding the empty calories of sports drinks. This article is totally spot-on and a great reminder of how important mindful consumption of food and drinks is--especially for our post-exercise bodies!
  • I warm up for 5 minutes prior to my workout, and I spend another 5 cooling down, and another 5 or so stretching afterwards. My post workout fuel is a smoothie made with Plain Greek yogurt, strawberries, banana, almond milk, ice, and a packet of Truvia sweetener.
  • I have a great stretch (static) after my workouts; works great for me. When I start strength or cardio, I just start gradually and do not bother doing stretches.
    I appreciate the articles--thanks for the strech AFTER the workout note sent by a reader.
  • When speaking about refueling post workout is that solely when doing strength training or should the same be said if you only completed a cardio workout?
    This article seems outdated. The stretching before a workout has been reported as being detrimental to your muscles, not only in coach Nicole's article, but on several "health" shows on TV and in numerous articles. The tuna sandwich, great but no more than 2x p/week, mercury levels people!
    I love reading SparkPeoples articles. I may not have time to go through all the content yet and make proper use of all the tools provided but in my spare few minutes I find alot of tips and information to help me out.
    Thank you to everyone who makes this journey of getting healthy fun, exciting and easier.
  • Thanks for the reminder.
  • I'm very confused by this article. Everything I've read here says its pointless to stretch before a workout. Warmups yes but not warmup, stretch, warmup again, workout.
  • This article seems to contradict most of the advice on the site, which says NOT to stretch before working out, only after. he says both.
  • Most sports dieticians recommend refueling within 30-45 mintues after a workout if it's duration is 60 minutes or more. If you wait 90 minutes, your body may already be starting to consume muscle tissue for fuel and your blood sugar being low, your metabolism may go into starvation mode by then.

    I think the best and simliest recovery food is lowfat or skim milk or soy milk. A perfect mix of carbs and protein. Easily digestible and empties your stomach quickly. Sometimes I'll have a bowl of whole grain cereal.

    The best is to just time your workout so that you have a normal meal within 45 minutes afterwards.

    Stretching is big. If 'm doing an easier workout, I'll only stretch afterwards. If it's intervals or anything fast, I'll stretch after a warm-up.

    Remember, hold stretches for at least 10 seconds and DO NOT BOUNCE! This isn't the 1970's.

  • Thanks for sharing the great advice.

    My trainer helps me stretch out may back, arms and legs post-workout and I can really tell the difference. I now do it after each workout. I find my appetite is actually much lower after working out, but still try to eat a little protein and carbs within 60 minutes.

    One additional thing I try to do is take a nice warm shower within 3 hours of a workout as it seems to relax any muscle that might tighten up afterwards.

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