11 Things To Do After Working Out For A Happier Day
After a great workout, it's natural to feel awesome (perhaps with a little bit of fatigue or soreness, but nothing major!), as the workout can uplift us and do our bodies some good. Thus, it's even better to prolong these happy feelings after a workout so that the day feels brighter overall for hours still to come.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on boosting their overall happiness levels and encouraging them to be optimistic and strive for positive moods, even when they might be feeling low or sluggish. Fitting in a great workout can be an excellent way to boost these feel-good sentiments and ramp up energy that can then be utilized throughout the day. As if a workout isn't awesome enough, the health and wellbeing benefits can last for hours after if you do take the following measures to prolong the effects and allow them to influence your day, productivity and positive outlook. Here are eleven things to do following a workout that will help you be happier and more energized for the following hours and rest of the day. So right after a sick session, prepare yourself with foods, essentials and tools to brighten the day and maybe even share those endorphin points with those around you.
1. Have A Great Breakfast
While this may only apply to those who workout first thing in the AM, starting the day with a power breakfast following a workout can help you stay happier during the day, advises Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, and spokesperson for America's Better Sandwich, over email with me. "For many of my patients starting their day with a well-breakfast is one step towards brightening their day. A combination of fiber, protein and healthy fat helps to fuel their bodies and give them more energy. Try this beautiful Caribbean Tomato-Pumpkin Breakfast Sandwich recipe made with Arnold® Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat bread," she suggests.
2. Eat Complex Carbs
Not only are complex carbohydrates great for recovery, when paired with protein and a healthy fat, but they also contain tryptophan, which can better the mood, says Gans. "Eating carbohydrates, preferably 100 percent whole grains, with protein-rich foods may boost the amount of tryptophan in your brain. Tryptophan is then converted into serotonin, also known as the 'feel-good' hormone," she advises.
3. Eat Omega 3s
Eating omega 3's after a workout can help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, and boost the mood, advises Hunter Pechin, Brand Manager at Health Warrior, over email with me. Plus, "ounce-for-ounce, chia seeds have more fiber than flax, and they expand as they absorb water in your stomach, both of which could explain why many people report feeling fuller, longer after eating them as compared to other foods. A fact supported by clinical studies."
4. Have Some Watermelon
"Organic watermelon water packs electrolytes and an amino acid by the name of L-Citrulline that reduces muscle soreness and boosts performance. Organic watermelon water is also an excellent source of potassium, an electrolyte that helps to prevent muscle cramping after a long workout," says Kate Weiler, accomplished triathlete, author of Real Fit Kitchen and co-founder of DRINKmelon over email with me. Plus, it's yummy!
5. Have Immediate Protein
Leaving the gym with an on the go snack or bar that is packed with protein, complex carbs and healthy fats is ideal, as it's best to consume these nutrients post-workout for better recovery, advises Taylor Collins, co-founder of EPIC Provisions, over email with me. He recommends EPIC Salmon Maple Dill Bites, "which contain a powerful combination of protein and omega-3 fats. Omega-3s in particular have been cited for their ability to fight inflammation, boost blood flow to muscle and decrease muscle soreness and swelling."
6. Drink Maple Water
New, right? I had never learned about maple water before chatting with Kate Weiler and Jeff Rose behind DRINKmaple, who touted its benefits. They said, "DRINKmaple contains 46 naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and polyphenols including calcium, and helps to strengthen bones," which can definitely lead to less soreness and greater repair to make us feel happier and more relaxed post-workout.
7. Drink H20
Chugging H20 during and post workout can help hydrate the body and make us feel happier later in the day, advises Ary Nunez, internationally renowned TV fitness personality, celebrity trainer, Nike sponsored athlete and Rihanna’s trainer, the Ambassador for CORE Hydration Water, over email with me. "It's essential to drink water at all times and especially when we are working out as we simply lose water by sweating. Water cools us down and enables us to perform at more optimum levels," she says. She recommends "drinking at least 8 ounces of water post workout."
8. Foam Roll
"I swear by my foam roller and take it with me everywhere, even when I travel. Sounds ridiculous since it takes up about 25% of my suitcase, but 100% worth it. I travel a ton, sit at a desk, and also train very hard as an amateur boxer, so I'm always dealing with some sort of tension. I find that rolling out my legs does wonders for my alignment and flexibility which in turn supports my energy and helps me rest better," says Tyler Gage, CEO and co-founder of RUNA, over email with me.
9. Eat A Raw Snack
"Eat a raw snack," says Carolyn Harrington, founder of Maty’s Healthy Products, over email with me. "Heat chemically changes food and destroys essential nutrients," she adds, so "try incorporating more foods that are fresh and alive into your meals every day. The more raw foods you add, the more nutrients you obtain to give you more energy on a daily basis,” she recommends.
10. Freshen Up
Nothing makes us feel more "blah" than a sweaty looking face and hair post-workout. Instead, freshen up those locks and cheeks with coconut oil, which is moisturizing and has many self-care benefits, advises Kiana Cabell, Natural Beauty Expert and Co-Founder/Creative Director of Kopari, over email with me. She recommends "Kopari's Coconut Sheer Oil for removing makeup naturally pre-workout. "It is also great to apply post-workout to restore skin's moisture while leaving behind a fresh coconut scent."
11. Take A Shower
Taking a long relaxing shower can really make you feel happy, in love with your body and all that it's done for you and totally refreshed and energized after a great workout, where you're ready to take on the day, advises running coach and personal trainer Susie Lemmer over email with me. "A nice shower always peps me back up," she says.
After a great workout, let the effects carry over into the next chapter of the day and allow you to feel energized, brighter and happier in the tasks you have at hand and with the people you are surrounded by. Let that happiness spread to others, so they can reap those post-workout benefits, as well.
Images: Pixabay (12)