Once your workout is done, you might be ready to dash out the studio door so you can hit the next item on your to-do list. But taking the time to prioritize post-workout self-care is key to optimal recovery — and recovery is integral to getting the killer results you want most.
Giving Your Body The Love It Needs
While it’s true that practicing self-care during and after your workouts can help boost the effects of exercise, self-care is also a powerful way to learn to treat yourself better overall — throughout various areas of your life.
When you approach your fitness plan from a place of self-compassion, you’re more likely to embrace the process with less perfectionism, and greater acceptance of yourself as you are now. Though it may seem counterintuitive, by pushing yourself less and caring for yourself more, you can actually get way more done. Burnout can be the cost of ignoring your need for self-care — and getting burned out can sabotage your fitness goals like nothing else.
Self-Care And Optimal Results
But what about when it comes to getting results, and why is self-care so important post-workout?
Essentially, getting amazing results from your barre classes, or any workout, is a two-part process — there’s showing up and challenging yourself in class, and then, there’s recovery.
Recovery is where the muscle-sculpting magic happens. Optimizing muscle recovery means that you get more definition and strength — and the most in terms of payoff for all your hard work in class.
The Inner Workings Appreciate Recovery
When you work out, tiny, microscopic tears in the muscle fibers happen as you challenge your body to master new moves or additional reps — and this is a good thing.
During recovery, the body repairs those muscle fibers, leaving them stronger, more sculpted, and better defined than they were before.
Basically, by resting and pampering yourself a bit post-workout, you boost the effects of your efforts in class. Rest means better results — which is a total win-win.
Treat Yourself – Don’t Cheat Yourself
So, what to do when you’re juggling how to prioritize your downtime?
Don’t overcomplicate the process, but do as much as you can. Detox salt baths like Pursoma, infrared saunas, and massage therapy can be amazing additions to your self-care routine.
But also, simple actions like starting a meditation practice, brewing some hot tea, soaking in a hot bath, taking naps whenever possible, and getting enough rest at night can form the foundation of your self-care practice — and help you feel better in myriad ways. It feels good to show yourself some love.
Additionally, it’s so important that you don’t skip taking the time to stretch your muscles, and warm up and cool down when you exercise. A simple stretching routine can make all the difference in your flexibility long-term, and also helps reduce the risk of injuries.
Once you’ve hit your workout for the day, make sure to dedicate some time to relax — and don’t skip rest days.
Stretch those muscles out, grab a nutritious snack, hydrate, and then hydrate some more.
Also, don’t skimp on sleep — chronic sleep deprivation can undermine your training efforts by messing with your hormones. Some studies suggest that losing zzz’s can lead to increased stress hormone levels, and lowered human growth hormone — which is essential for muscle repair. And it’s no secret that feeling wiped out means you can’t bring your best game to barre class.
When you realize how essential self-care is post-workout for getting your best results ever, it’s so much easier to prioritize that time — so get to it.