How To Prolong The Effects Of Your Workout

by Isadora Baum, CHC

You just had a great workout, and you feel awesome. What's even more awesome? Getting in the extra benefits post sweat session. There are a few ways to increase the burn post-workout that may surprise you, but also make you super excited, as it's never a bad thing to reap the benefits hours after your workout. So, take a shower, fix your hair, stretch it out, and then eat something satisfying while you're still a calorie-burning machine.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on making the most of their workouts, diets, and lifestyles, where they'll radiate energy, confidence, and balance each day. Finding exercise that's enjoyable and suitable for needs and schedules is so important, as it's great for your health and happiness (those endorphins are real). To go even further, we try and find ways to keep the metabolism revved and energy levels high when not in the gym, and it's pretty easy to do once you've finished a workout and have some more time left to maximize the benefits. Here are 9 surprising ways to keep the burn going after a tough workout, so you'll feel alive and confident for next couple of hours.

1. Have A Protein Shake

"Your body actually burns more calories in the hours post high intensity training, so to keep your metabolism running, be sure to focus on a balanced diet that includes protein to help repair those muscles," says Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, over email with Bustle. Shaw adds, "Halo Top product is something I've taken a keen liking to and enjoy on occasion as a dairy filled shake post PM workout as a protein filled sweet treat. It's got 5 grams of fiber and protein per serving, which when added with a cup of milk, delivers over 13 grams of high quality protein and doesn't irritate my stomach like some of the other protein packed products."

Halo Top Ice Cream, $6, Jet

2. Eat Healthy Fats

Eating healthy fats post-workout can help reduce inflammation and repair muscles, keeping your metabolism high and more stable, advises Reebok expert Tyson Chartier, with SITYODTONG, over email with Bustle. "A few of my favorites include an avocado, guacamole or hummus with veggies, raw nuts with fruit, or almond butter on celery sticks," says Chartier.

3. Do HIIT Training

According to Pete McCall, MS, CSCS, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, on the ACE website, high intensity work will not only burn more calories during the session, but it'll raise the metabolism and burn more in the hours following than steady state, more moderate level cardio will.

4. Drink Water

According to Liz Traines, transformational coach and healthy lifestyle coach, over email with Bustle, drinking water after working out, especially cold water, will keep the metabolism running strong and help replenish lost stores, which could result in dehydration post-workout.

5. Finish Your Workout With Weights

Strength training will help burn more calories long-term than mere cardio, explains Todd Nief, owner of South Loop Strength & Conditioning over email with Bustle. While both are great as a team, the strength training will keep your metabolic burn higher throughout the day (if you train regularly), or at least right after your immediate session.

6. Take A Cold Shower

Though not that pleasant, cold temperatures will increase activation of brown fat, which is known to power the metabolism and increase calorie burn naturally, explained George King, MD, research director and chief science officer at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center, to Reader's Digest. Plus, you'll probably be hot and sweaty from the workout, so you might not mind it as much.

7. Foam Roll

According to Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM on The Institute For Integrative Healthcare, massage can stimulate blood flow and circulation, leading to greater metabolic effects and weight management. Plus, lymphatic drainage techniques, in formal massage, can be especially helpful for breaking down fat, as added.

8. Have Variety In Your Routine

According to Victor Zammit, professor of metabolic biochemistry at Warwick University over interview with Men's Health, having different days to do running, cross-training, HIIT, and resistance (strength) training, as well as combo days, can help bring variety into the routine and increase after-workout burn regularly.

9. Don't Actually Do HIIT All Day, Everyday

Whether you take a day off or do lighter workouts, it's best to give the body 48 hours off between high intensity work, explained Cris Dobrosielski C.S.C.S., C.P.T., spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and founder of Monumental Results, to SELF. If you don't, you might cause excess cortisol and fat storage production due to lack of rest. By taking time to repair, you'll keep your metabolism high and better manage those hormone levels.

If you can squeeze in these post-workout habits, you'll find yourself reaping those metabolism effects for hours later.