How To Feel Cool And Refreshed After A Long Workout

The benefits of exercising are innumerable. From lowering the risks of physical and mental disorders to helping you stay in shape, regular workouts are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. However, too much of anything is not good. For example, 45 to 60 minutes may be sufficient for a session of bodyweight strength training and weightlifting, while you can reap adequate benefits from a 30 to 60-minute cardiovascular and strength exercise, per Healthline. That said, the appropriate workout length might vary greatly depending on each person's athletic goal and stamina.

If you're training for a significant event, like a competition or a triathlon, your workout regimen might be more intensive. Boxers, for example, practice for about five hours per day when preparing for a battle, whereas Muay Thai fighters prepare for up to nine hours per day on average before entering the ring. While the point of working out is to build strength, a long exercise can leave you depleted and reduce your interest in physical activity. "Fitness burnout can be caused by two things — overtraining and under-recovery," explains health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels (via Forbes). Therefore, a post-workout routine is essential for sustaining your energy level and making it easier for you to follow through with your fitness goals. Below are some surprisingly simple steps to follow after a long workout to make yourself feel so much better.

Spend time in a sauna

Sauna bathing is one of the most relaxing treatments you can offer your body after a strenuous workout, which can cause extremely tiny tears to develop in your muscle fibers. In fact, spinal and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo tells Byrdie, "The heat from a sauna increases blood circulation to the torn muscles and helps them repair themselves more quickly." Findings from a 2015 study in SpringerPlus reveal that a 30-minute dry bath in an infrared sauna buffers muscle soreness and speeds up the recovery process. If you're new to saunas, try to hang in there for at least 10 minutes and drink lots of water.

When you sit in an enclosed room heated to temperatures between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 195 degrees Fahrenheit, your body is filled with intense warmth and you start to sweat profusely. The heat relaxes your tense muscles while the serenity inside a sauna room helps you relax. Your blood circulation increases, promoting wound healing and reducing the risk of heart disease. Another boon that comes with sauna bathing is that heating your body up increases your metabolism and makes you burn calories while still sedentary. After a sauna, cool down in fresh air for five to 10 minutes before going for a speedy shower. The traditional Finnish sauna bathing method involves a dip in ice-cold water post-sauna to trigger lymphatic circulation. However, if you're not comfortable showering in cold water, you can take a shower or a bath in lukewarm water.

Meditate after a workout

Another post-workout activity that you can explore is meditation. While meditation is often associated with religious or psychotherapeutic practices, many athletes use meditation as part of their training regime. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, meditation refers to a variety of techniques that target mind and body integration with the purpose of calming the mind and enhancing overall well-being. The reason why meditation is relevant in physical training is that a big part of any sport is mental.

Since meditation has a lot to do with connecting with your inner self and breaking down entrenched thinking patterns, it helps you go back into your physical realm with a more solid sense of perspective. "When meditation is routinely utilized after workouts, the brain effectively learns new, healthy ways of calming the nervous system," says psychologist Dr. Carla Marie Manly (via Fitbit). Meditating after a workout allows the adrenaline levels to go down and feel-good hormones to go up, bringing you into a state of mental fitness. Since meditation might have a lot to do with spiritual enlightenment and is difficult to master on your own, you might need instructor-led training to snatch the full benefits of this activity. 

Aside from the aforementioned suggestions, stay hydrated at all times, eat a protein bar after working out, and get plenty of sleep, which will help to improve your performance and speed up the healing process.