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Exercise is a crucial element of your overall health and wellbeing. Without proper exercise muscles can atrophy and shrink, not to mention the health risks you could be exposing on your entire body too. Taking the time every day to get your heart pumping will improve circulation, heart health and mental mood. After you take the time to exercise, how you replenish your mind and muscles is just as important. Included here are a few things to do following a great workout. 

Stretch

Active-isolated stretching is more useful following a workout when your muscles are already warm. Take time to target any muscles that seem to have restricted movement or additional soreness. You can use this time to gain more mobility in especially tight muscles while letting your body cool down. Stretching is also a good time to focus on one muscle and reflect on the gained strength since you began working out. Soreness often means you are gaining muscle and losing fat!

Refuel

Within ten minutes of completing a workout you should begin refueling your body. This means intake of protein and carbohydrates as well as liquids. Small, health food bars are a great way to carry nutrition with you on-the-go and you can easily stock them in your gym bag or locker. Another popular option is protein shakes or bars, try ones that can are portable or can easily be mixed within the 10 minute window. By consuming carbohydrates, protein and liquid after a workout you can maximize your lean muscles growth and speed up the recovery process.

Cool Down

A great way to cool down after a workout is to take a plunge in a 55 degree water tub. This will allow your body to cool down in 1 to 3 minutes and prevent any post-workout inflammation. If you have a hot tub to alternate with, every 3 to 5 minutes, you can further expedite muscle recovery and stimulate blood flow. If hot and cold tubs are not accessible, you can easily recreate these warm and cool settings in a shower.

Reflect

Taking the time to recognize what you have gained each training session can help you increase motivation for the next time. Certain exercises, weights or holds can prove difficult early on but may become easier over time. Commitment to physical fitness helps not only your physical well-being but your success overall in life. You should always take stock of where you are in relation to your goals and mark any small successes.

Track

With the advent of technology, there is no shortage of ways to track your health improvements. Take time to see how many more miles you’ve gained, how many calories you burned or how long you were able to hold in strength training positions. This can be an important motivational tool, but more than that is the help it offers in future success. You can look back in months to come to see how far you have advanced or what still needs work.

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