Visualizations and considerations: How to restore energy and relax after a workout

Working out can be enjoyable or torturing depending who you ask. While the reasons for getting the motivation to work out may be debatable, one thing that people have in common is the way they feel after a workout-sore and fatigued.

Naturally, after pushing one’s body our of its comfort zone it is common to feel this way. However, while the word “workout” does indeed have the term “work” in it, the body doesn’t necessarily have to feel the effects of the work directly per se once the exercise has been completed. Contrary to belief, allowing the body to relax afterwards is more beneficial and quite frankly more enjoyable just as it is when you finish a long day’s work at the office and need to unwind. You don’t like the feeling of taking work home on both your mind and body, and there is no reason why you this can’t work for working out.

After a workout, try to make notice of what muscles are sore and bring your attention to them. Simply realize how much tension is in the body and make a conscious effort to release it. You can do this by visualizing the body emptying out in that area to the point where you don’t even remember that part exists. Doing so helps the mind relax and therefore it is not so drawn to the body’s reaction of feeling sore.

Emptying out the sore parts of the body may take a while at first but after a while it becomes second nature. Following this, you should imagine your body sinks in to whatever you do. For example, if you are sitting down take note of how much tension you are putting in the buttocks, the legs, as well as the feet, and whether that tension is necessary. If not, imagine those parts sinking into whatever it is they are in contact with (the feet sink into the ground and the buttocks into the chair etc.) and relax. You will notice a big effect immediately.

If you are sitting and body parts such as the shoulders are not in contact with an external object, imagine those parts dropping. An area where we typically put a lot of tension in the body is the shoulder. For those, let them drop naturally and remain sunk into the body, relieved of any stress that you might have put on them as a result of working out or lifting too heavy. Keep in mind that doing the emptying out exercise will have already helped the shoulders as well, which combined with this exercises will help them relax.

You should also massage and stretch muscles in the body that are sore following an exercise. Because blood is being pumped more intensely throughout the body and oxygen is expanding as well, it is good to massage and stretch periodically so that circulation in the body remains smooth.

In fact, most people stretch before they workout for this reason even though the common belief is that you will injure yourself if you don’t stretch. While there is a lot of truth to that, on a deeper level the body needs to be stretched beforehand so that circulation remains smooth, which will later prevent the body from pulling muscles. Stretching should also be done afterwards for the same reason.

Stretching after a workout is something most people do not do because they assume the body is loose. In fact, if you stretch after lifting weights or going for a long run it is very beneficial. For runners, if they do not stretch after a run they are prone to getting cramps and waking up in the middle of the night with intense Charlie horses in the legs, which can intensify especially when the weather changes. This is a result of reduced blood circulation as a result of expanding muscles. Simply put, once blood flows to those muscles it can’t stay there forever and needs to continue circulating, so if you don’t stretch you are basically clotting it in one area, bringing about higher risk of pain and discomfort. Bottom line, stretch before and after workouts, and continue stretching throughout the day, maybe once an hour to ensure proper circulation,

Other ways you can restore energy after a workout are by drinking a lot of water and eating healthy foods. Healthy foods in particular restore lost energy throughout the workout and keep the body re-fueled throughout the day. Water meanwhile is always a good thing for keeping the body hydrated, which is particularly important after a workout when the body sweats and loses water.

Finally, getting enough sleep is crucial. Most people will not get enough adequate sleep after a workout, which the body needs to restore its energy. Think of it this way, you know when you go to sleep and maybe have a gut at the end of the day but once you wake up the next day that gut is gone? That is because your body has digested the food and nutrients inside, which intensifies during sleeping, as the body knows that is its repair time. If the body doesn’t have enough time to digest and circulate energy throughout the body you will wake up the next day feeling less than optimal, and you will see less results from your workout, as the body didn’t have enough time to push fats and nutrients into the muscles.

These methods together allow the body to recover, restore and relax to its necessary energy limit. Combining all these may be too much for most people and are not necessary if you are a part-time exerciser, but if you plan to train excessively than you may want to include these techniques into your arsenal and approach your training from as much of comprehensive view as possible in order to make the bets of your exercise time.

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