When it comes to weight loss, exercise only makes up about 20% of the effort. What you do with the other time in your day has a much bigger impact on your body fat and overall fitness. Try some of these post-workout tips for continuous calorie burning.
1. Get the right post-workout snack.
Not only will this help you regain your energy, but it will also assist in muscle recovery. During a workout, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, and while this gives you the extra boost you need, you want your body to stop producing it when you’ve finished exercising, as it slows down your metabolism to retain more calories for energy. Eating protein-rich foods roughly 30 minutes after a workout will prevent cortisol from being produced, so go for eggs, chicken or a protein shake.
2. Stretch. Massage. Breathe.
This will help your muscles to relax, recover and continue burning calories after a workout. ‘A massage reduces inflammation in the tissue and increases blood flow to the area, which is what speeds up recovery,’ says Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Scientist Dr Stacy Sims. Similarly, breathing helps with your blood flow, and stretching will keep your heart rate up while you cool down. Wait until your muscles have completely cooled down before massaging.
3. Keep drinking water.
Ideally, you should be drinking some water continually throughout the day to keep hydrated and improve your metabolism. Aim for around 2L a day on top of the water you glug during a workout. Drinking water has proven to assist in weight loss, and will make you feel more energised overall.
5. Get some good shut-eye.
If you aren’t getting decent amounts of sleep, it places stress on your body and causes you to crave sugary treats to keep up your energy levels. Sleep researcher Dr Christopher Winter says: ‘It causes your body to seek quick energy from food to try to keep you awake’. Sleeping is also when your body heals and grows, making it great for recovery after an intense workout.
For more weight loss tips, page through your November issue of Fitlife.