The last moments of workout really stand out, and you’re already imaging yourself showering, resting, checking messages… Have you done stretching? Hydrated your body? If so, great. If not, please read carefully! Here you will find useful tips you can do after a workout.

After any cardio or weight workout your muscles are tired! The period immediately following the workout is essential for ‘repairing’ the muscles and tissue, gaining strength and the overall recovery of the body.

You should do these 5 things after every workout:

Don’t stop your workout suddenly at full pace and strength! There’s a reason why treadmills have a ‘cooling down’ regime. The sudden and abrupt interruption of physical activity lowers blood pressure and can cause dizziness. If you have finished running, be sure to walk for at least another 3-5 minutes. If you are doing the weight exercises, try dynamic stretching afterwards. The point is to restore the average pulse.

Do not skip stretching! Your muscles are warmed up after workout, therefore they are flexible and sensitive. Although it’s not proven that stretching reduces the risk of injury, it certainly lowers the possibility of sore muscles. Technically, you should stretch every major muscle in four sets for about 30-60 seconds, but since it takes too long, it usually comes down to 10 minutes max. If you’re only doing one type of stretching, that should be stretching the knee tendons using towels. Lie on your back, raise one leg and wrap a towel around the ankle. Pull the ends of the towel to your chest until you feel tension of tendon. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

Hydrate your body! We lose large amounts of fluid during workout, and that should be compensated. This helps in reduction of the inflammation of muscles and increases strength and flexibility. You should intake the amount of fluid you’ve lost, plus 25-50%. That amount is usually checked by measuring before and after activity.

Take proteins! No matter what part of the day you’ve finished with your workout, you should always drink a protein shake in the period between 15 and 30 minutes after the workout. In that period your muscles absorb the beneficial nutrients most efficiently. Protein shake will provide carbohydrates and proteins for the muscles. If you don’t want to drink this kind of shakes, you can always take a glass of chocolate milk.

 Go for a massage! Although opinions are divided about this, what is sure is that the massage certainly feels good to the body. Reduce swelling, inflammation of the muscles and reduce any kind of stress. Of course, not everyone can afford a massage after each workout. For home version, you can use the so-called foam roller which you set on the floor and use your weight while rolling back and forth along the back and neck. If nothing else, massage certainly relaxes and has a psychological effect, but even in this case do not overdo it. Massage should not be too strong.

Be sure to make this things become usual part of your workout, because it can only be helpful to you on the path to good shape and appearance, strength, endurance and energy.

is a health advocate, journalist and theologian. He is an outspoken internet activist who has contributed to many magazines and web sites. After years spent in digital marketing and online journalism he became one of the founders and editors at Combining knowledge and research with facts of modern science, Alexander continues to writes about alternative medicine and health benefits of nature. Unlike most writers he strongly believes that there's no magic pill that will lead you to long term health and beauty and that without effort, there can be no gain.