What to Do After Working Out: 5 Ways to Promote Post-Workout Muscle Recovery
Sticking to your workout schedule is often hard enough, never mind a post-workout routine too! But if you constantly find you can’t walk after working out your legs, or you can’t sleep after an evening run, then you might want to start squeezing one in.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be long and complex.
Our mission at Jimbo & Jules is to find simple and sustainable ways to help you become your healthiest self, including managing aches and pains. We know physical wellness extends beyond your morning run or spin class, and what you do immediately after the gym is crucial for caring for your muscles.
In this post, we’ll give you some quick tips to prevent pain and promote recovery so you can keep on smashing your goals without the achy legs and arms.
5 ways to prevent muscle pain and aid post-workout recovery
- Schedule workout rest days
First things first: don’t overdo it!
Take a rest day. Seriously, your muscles need it. By giving them time to heal and repair, they can consolidate the work you’ve done, and you’ll be able to come back stronger. If you keep overworking your muscles, you’ll just become fatigued and risk injury.
Make sure you switch up the muscle groups you train each session and schedule days off in advance so that you remember to stick to them. If you really want to get moving on an ‘off’ day, try gentle yoga or a brisk walk instead.
- Cool off and stretch out
Set aside some time at the end of your workout to ensure your body returns to its natural state by slowing down, cooling off, and stretching out.
Muscles are most flexible when they’re warm, so stretching out after a workout helps improve your mobility and the movement of your joints. In turn, this reduces your risk of muscle strain and damage. It also improves the blood flow to your muscles, helping them heal more quickly.
We often store stress and anxiety in our bodies, so you might find working on your muscles improves your quality of mind too. Focus on loosening tense and tight muscles, breathing deeply as you do so, and visualize the stress leaving your body.
- Massage your muscles
Studies have found that a massage straight after exercise alleviates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). In an ideal world, we’d all have a personal physiotherapist to sort us out after every run or gym class, but for now, we’ll have to take it into our own (or our partner's) hands.
You can buy foam rollers or massage guns to target particular muscles, or you can simply work the muscles with a soothing oil, such as our Soothe Like Honey Massage Oil.
- Prep a protein snack
Preparation is key for this one. Before your workout, plan a snack that combines protein and carbohydrates.
Research shows that eating a high-protein snack or shakes immediately after exercise helps stimulate muscle recovery, as they contain amino acids that help rebuild muscles. Carbohydrates recharge your energy, making the perfect post-workout combo.
Here are some ideas to try:
- Banana and peanut butter
- Tuna and crackers
- Pita and hummus
- Nuts and fruit
- Eggs and wholegrain toast
Eat 15 minutes to an hour after a workout for optimal benefits!
- Try CBD for muscle pain
Even if you’ve taken all the steps above, you might still get the occasional muscle aches. Did you know CBD can help pain management?
It interacts with a complex system in the body called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), similar to the nervous system, which helps the body maintain homeostasis. Research suggests that the body’s response to CBD balances the ESC, and in turn eases muscle pain and inflammation.
A 2019 study found a large number of surgeons were interested in using CBD for post-surgery pain management and a 2021 study showed participants’ positive response to CBD treatment for pain. While more research is necessary, studies like these show that CBD deserves a spot in your post-workout routine.
On a smaller scale, our community has shared the positive effects of our new Muscle & Joint Relief Stick for post-workout recovery. For example, this lovely review:
The relief stick has been huge for my post-workout recovery. I exercise daily and my old routine was icy hot and Advil. I’ve been trying to incorporate more natural products into my practice and this will definitely be a new stable. Works fast and is consistently effective.
- Logan G
It combines Full Spectrum Hemp with soothing botanicals like Calendula, Plai, and Moringa Oil, to target sore muscles, joints, and skin.
Do you have any special tips for your post-workout recovery? Connect with us on Instagram and let us know!