Did you know that the way you recover from a workout is almost as important as the way you workout? Without proper recovery, your body won't make the most of all that hard work you went through while you exercised. It's like going to work for eight hours, then throwing half of your paycheck in the trash. Here are a few workout recovery tips for moms that can help you get the most from every workout.
- Cool Down
After any intense workout, you should cool down before you allow yourself to rest. A cool down period slowly brings your heart rate down to a normal level and prevents lactic acid (the waste product from exercise that makes you feel sore) from building-up. After a fast run, finish with a slow jog. Or after doing an intense circuit, do slow jumping jacks.
You should drink water before, during, and after exercise. When you're breastfeeding, you need to stay hydrated more than ever. Unfortunately, most moms are too busy taking care of their little ones to replenish their water supply. Don’t forget to drink one or two glasses of water. The more you sweat during your workout, the more water you should drink.
I've always hated stretching, but I love the results I get from stretching post-workout. After you've given birth, you're muscles are particularly vulnerable. Give them a break and stretch for about ten minutes after you exercise. You'll feel the difference the next day.
- Eat Immediately
The food you eat is your fuel for your workout. After you exercise, it's important to replenish that fuel. Eat something rich in protein as soon as you're finished exercising. If you don't have protein within about 30 minutes of doing a strength workout, your muscles won't be able to grown stronger. You might not have the time to make an omelet or sink your teeth into a burger, so settle for a protein shake low in sugar and high in nutrients. Just make sure there's no warning on the label for nursing moms.
OK, so maybe you can't relax while you rock your fussy newborn, corral your crawling infant, or chase after your toddling toddler. But you can relax from intense exercise. Give your body a break from working out. Don't do a strength workout two days in a row. Dedicate one day a week to "rest", or at least rest from exercise. And most of all, give your body a break.
Hi Everyone! I'm Danielle, and I'm a little bit of a fitness nut. Since having my 1-year old son, working out has been a little more difficult. Between breastfeeding and running around with a baby who does not EVER sit still, I've had to learn how to workout a whole new way. Join me on Workout Wednesdays as I share my post-baby workout tips. You can learn how to get (or stay) healthy while you juggle being SuperMom!