The ideal things to do post-workout would be to use an infrared sauna and get a professional massage. Unfortunately, unless you’re a professional athlete, you probably don’t have access to these things. What you can do instead is to use a foam roller and thoroughly roll the muscles that you’ve been working out. Foam rolling helps prevent adhesions and scarring in the muscle fascia, which is a membrane around all your major muscles. When you feel a “knot” or “tightness” in a muscle, it’s often from an abnormality in the fascia. Foam rolling and massage can help prevent these abnormalities. It also relaxes your muscles and helps prevent them stay elongated.
In addition to foam rolling, take a nice hot bath or shower. This will increase circulation and help your body flush lactic acid out of the muscles. You should also eat a good, nutritious meal with plenty of plant protein. Plant protein is already in the form of amino acids that your body can use right away, unlike meat protein, which must be broken down first. You may also want to reward yourself with a relaxation ritual such as meditation.
A good post-workout routine will help prevent injury and pain. Less pain will make it easier to make the decision to work out next time. Cooling down also helps enhance the benefits of working out, which include more energy, better insulin response, weight loss, and increased focus.
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