As the weather warms up and you get into the swing of a new workout routine, here are a few tips to help you recover and keep up with your goals.
1. Warmup and cool down
Your warm up and cool down together should generally be about the same length as your workout. If you plan on playing soccer for 1 hour, your warm up should be 30 minutes and your cool down should be 30 minutes. Don’t sit and stretch during the warm up (save that for the end). Start with a light walk or jog to get your blood flowing and warm up your muscles. The best time to stretch is right after your workout while your muscles are still warm. Imagine your muscles are a rubber band. A cold rubber band will not stretch as well as a warm one.
2. Use your rest day wisely
It’s okay to take a day off, but use that time to help your body recover. A rest day doesn’t mean you get to sit on the couch and eat chips all day. Try to keep moving with some low impact exercises. A short walk and some simple stretches are a great way to recover and prepare for the next day’s activities.
3. Drink water
Your body needs roughly half your body weight in ounces of water every day (ex. If you weigh 100 lbs, you should drink 50 oz). That number only goes up when you start exercising. No matter how much you sweat, you need to get that water back in your system.
After about 45 minutes of sports or exercise, it can be a good idea to get some electrolytes. This can be a banana before or after your workout or a powdered trace mineral packet (check your nearest health food store) that you add to water.