For all the hours we spend each week lifting and pedaling our butts off (literally), how much time do we take to recover? The truth is, pushing the envelope puts stress on our bodies. Getting the most out of your workout also means taking time to recover for the next ride.
Realistically, how much time do you spend on a focused post-workout routine? Reaping the benefits go beyond crushing the 90 minutes you just spent in the cycle studio. Here are a few post-workout tips to help you maximize your progress and recover in time for your next workout:
You’ve heard it a thousand times before, and for good reason. Hydration is a vital component to any fitness regimen. Our workouts are intense, and there’s really no way around it – you’re going to sweat (a lot)! If leaving drenched isn’t enough to tell you that you need to intake fluids after class, then we aren’t sure what is! According to livestrong.com, our riders and weight lifters should be intaking in the range of 90 to 125 ounces of water a day.
Not a fan of plain water? While you might be tempted to add artificial flavors to make your water a little less bland, try adding lemon! Simply squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into your water can help your body absorb fluids and boost your immune system with the vitamin C and acidic qualities it offers!
Think about all of the areas you focused on during class, and make sure you stretch those muscle groups out after your workout. You’ll wake up feeling less sore the next day, and you’ll feel more limber going into your next class. With proper hydration + stretching, you can minimize headaches, increase flexibility, improve circulation, loosen tight muscles and reduce the risk of injury when you’re pushing the limits.
For those of you that love the class atmosphere, give yoga class a shot! Here are some great local places around Nashville we recommend:
Here are some of our recommendations around Nashville:
3. Eat a Healthy Snack
Diet is the ultimate supplement to your workout routine. Staying diligent and developing a plan for executing a proper diet will help you achieve the best possible results. How does this fall in line with recovery? Intense training sessions are designed to burn calories, and replenishing those lost nutrients is a necessity! The foods you choose to put in your body after your workout have a significant impact on your results and recovery. Lean foods that are high in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats are great to ingest after your workout.
Try a handful of almonds, greek yogurt, a banana or even stopping at your favorite juice spot on the way back home or work. Our favorite in Nashville is I Love Juice. These guys visit us all the time to provide refreshments at our events!
How you execute this will vary on your personal fitness goals.
Sleep will always be one of the most important components of a fitness routine. Getting quality rest allows your muscles to recover and your body to burn calories. Not to mention, sleep has a massive impact on your ability to perform your best on the bike! For those that can get away with 4 (or less) hours of sleep a night and crush the day – we commend you. However, we recommend at least 7-8 hours for optimal performance.
Take time and sit down to record the goals you’ve already achieved and to plan the ones you want to achieve in the future. Mental focus is an unparalleled element of performing your best when you step in the spin studio. Reflect on the goals you accomplished and plan for the goals you want to complete.
Ask yourself this question: do you have post-workout routine? If the answer is no, hopefully this will help kickstart the essentials you need to include for a more successful workout regimen.