After a good workout or run, it might be hard to decide what to do next - lay on a grassy hill or go straight to a party. We put together a little list that will help you decide or just pop some more ideas in to your head. Some of them are very beneficial to your health, while others are just for pleasure (PG, of course).
Hydrate back up with water or another type of beverage! You know you should, but maybe you don't know why it's so important and beneficial? After your workout, your body's metabolic processes will begin to slow down, but the recovery process continues. This is the time it's very important to stay hydrated, as it allows for your muscles to stay cooled, lubricated and free-floating which likewise, helps them to keep receiving nutrients and to keep their elasticity they provide naturally, instead of feeling like a game of tug-of-war when you stretch, which you can be in that situation if you don't hydrate enough.
Grab a beer with your shower
Have a beer while taking a shower, known as a shower beer - simple as that. Hopefully you already planned on having a shower, but having a beer makes it that much better - for you and your body. This may sound like a redneck thing, but let us explain and be more open minded! Beer hydrates pretty well and puts back the carbohydrates you just burned. Not only is it good for the body, it helps you relax and put your mind at ease. It even smells better in the shower, thanks to the science behind your noses' receptors being able to pick up better smells/scents in damp/misty situations. Still think it's crazy? Well there's even a 'sub-reddit' just for shower beers.
Control your breathing
A great way to relax your muscles and your mind is to take a moment and control your breathing. Focus on taking deep, slow breaths in and out. It can help increase your mind-body awareness and focus your energy on muscle relaxation.
Mix up a protein smoothie/shake
Making a fresh smoothie with (whey) protein is one of the best ways to help your muscles recover and keep them healthy. The protein does its job, and the fruit smoothie part keeps you even more healthy with vitamins and other beneficial nutrients. Tip: Buy yourself a small blender (e.g. Magic Bullet) as they are better for individual servings and are very convenient (quick use, easy setup/clean-up).
Eat an energy bar
Chances are - once you're done your workout, you're not feeling that hungry even if you are. An energy bar is a great way to fuel up for your energy levels since they can offer high values in carbs or protein. For a small snack, they can provide quite the nutrients and prevent you from feeling 'stuffed' which is never a nice feeling after a workout, where your body is cooling down and recovering.
Hang upside down
Hanging upside down helps to relax the muscles. Just find a bar that allows for you to hang upside down, wrap your knees around it and let gravity do its work while also focusing on releasing any tension your muscles might be carrying.
Meditating is another great way to relax your muscles and mind, especially since breathing plays a major role in it. It helps to visualize your muscles tensing up and relaxing, promoting your muscles to relax and your mind and body to cool/calm down from your workout.
Have your own tips? Post them below in the comments: