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April 28, 2016

Overdone it? How to relax after working out

Image credit: iStock/karelnoppe

While exercise may be an important part of fitness, taking time to relax after a workout is just as important. Relaxing after exercise will give your muscles a chance to recover, reduce the chance of aches and pains and allow you regain some of the energy you’ve lost.

It is important that you give both your mind and body a chance to unwind so as not to feel fatigued after exercising, which can undo all the positive feelings you’ll have following a workout.

Here are some ways to relax after working out that will keep you healthy and happy:

Head to the hot tub

Hopping in the hot tub after a workout can help your muscles to relax and soothe any aches you might have. The moist heat of the hot tub will help your body relax quickly and soothe any aches that are a result of your exercise.

The massaging jets of a hot tub will also feel great, especially as you can position yourself so that key areas are exposed to them, although hot tubs tend to be designed so the jets focus on key pressure points.

If you don’t have a hot tub, try running yourself a warm bath. While the results won’t be as good, it will still relax your muscles.

Try meditating

Meditating following working out can help to assist in your body’s recovery and get it back to its baseline. This can mean doing some gentle yoga, which will stretch your muscles and mean you focus on your breathing, or simply sitting down in a comfortable position and clearing your mind while concentrating on your breathing.

The breathing aspect of meditation will help ensure your muscles are getting enough oxygen, which is important after a workout, while gentle stretching or sitting comfortably will reduce stress on your joints.

Get a massage

A great way to relax your muscles following a workout is to get a massage, especially a hot massage. This will release tension and relieve and tightness caused by exercise, while hot massages are extra relaxing and will help you feel less mentally stressed too.

A masseuse will also be able to work on any areas that are particularly problematic, reducing the risk of injury or strain when you next work out.

Read or watch TV

Relaxing your mind will automatically relax your body, so doing something like watching TV or reading a book is a great way to spend time following a workout. You’ll find that your muscles become less tense as your mind relaxes, which is just what you want after a hard workout.