Today I will be answering some general questions that members and people getting in shape usually have. The focus of today’s Q and A is on what to do after you work out.

What are all the different things you should do after you workout?

Take time to cool down and bring your heart rate down. Stretch your muscles, they are like a piece of gum. If you pull gum right out of the wrapper it breaks, if you chew it a while, it stretches, your muscle are the same. Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body. Make sure you eat some protein for rebuilding muscle.

Some people say to use ice. Some say use heat. What is it?

In terms of injury, within the first 48 hours of an injury, minor pull or sprain use ice. Twenty minutes on twenty minutes off, 4 to 6 times per day. Once past this time use heat and then end with ice. If you injury is more severe seek doctors care. It is always good to warm up before working out. This not stretching. But if you have access to a sauna or steam try some squats, shoulder circles, small lunges and jumping jacks. Just to get started.

What is the rule for cool downs and stretching after a workout?

See above. If you stretch, make sure you stretch hamstrings, quads, lower back and Achilles tendons. You also should do a stretch on your shoulders and it is a good to time stretch your neck. Stretching when you are cold leads to injury. Do not over stretch, go to a point of tension and then back off a bit. Hold it 10 to 20 seconds, back off then go to a point of tension and back off again. You will find that the second you do this you will be a little more flexible.

What are things NOT to do after your workout?

One of the worst things to do after working out is not to rehydrate yourself with water. If you use a Gatorade or something similar I like to drink a quarter of it add water, then drink half and refill with water again. I continue do this until I achieve about 4 waters to one Gatorade ratio. Make sure you also drink some water before you say, “let’s get a beer”, alcohol without rehydration after exercise is a definite health risk.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Make sure your work outs are not so hard that you have no life after training. Many people push so hard that they are completely exhausted for any social activity what so ever. This defeats the benefits of exercise and being fit, for a fun and healthy life.

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