The Post-Workout Workout

"I want a six pack, but I also want to eat everything!"

Maya Bjerke, Writer

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Here at BHS as the weather gets colder, the workouts get harder. It’s conditioning season for athletes, and that means a few things. First, you are tired, stressed, and sore. Second, you are setting goals, trying to get your body prepared for spring sports; but third, you have a constant craving and want to eat everything in sight.

EVERYTHING.

Is there a way to make this season of blood, sweat, and tears less sufferable? Are there any solutions for the black hole in your stomach, or the soreness paralyzing your arms, back, legs, and… whole body?

The post-workout workout is all the foods you should eat and stretches you should do to ensure that you obtain the best results while suffering the least.

After working out, your body sends signals to your mind that you are starving. It wants you to consume the amount of calories you just lost plus a couple extra. In a lot of cases, this takes you to the closest bowl of junk food, eliminating all of your previous hard work.

Ellie Hughes, a sophomore tennis player at BHS who is currently in winter conditioning, says, “After getting home from working out, I want to eat basically everything that I shouldn’t. Bread and sugary cereals are my go-tos.”

Once you’ve burned all those calories, the best things to eat include selective fats, carbs, and proteins. These help enhance muscle recovery, and make you feel fuller. So next time you get home from a workout session, switch the chips and ice cream, or bread and sugary cereal, for any of the following:

  • Carbs
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Chocolate milk
    • Quinoa
    • Fruits
    • Rice
    • Oatmeal
    • Potatoes
    • Pasta
    • Dark, leafy green vegetables
  • Proteins
    • Protein powder
    • Eggs
    • Greek yogurt
    • Cottage cheese
    • Salmon
    • Chicken
    • Protein bar
    • Tuna
  • Fats
    • Avocado
    • Nuts
    • Nut butters
    • Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)

Along with eating healthy after working out, you also want to drink plenty of water. This will properly hydrate your body and give you the results you are looking for.

The next part of the post-workout workout helps eliminate how sore you become. Believe me, I know the last thing you want to do when you’re tired, dripping sweat, and hungry, is stretch, but stretching after workouts helps increase mobility, range of motion, and flexibility. It also decreases your risk of tendon overload and injury. Next time you are leaving the gym quickly to go home, think about sticking around a little longer to help your muscles restore themselves. Your future self will thank you.

Working out is hard. It requires preparation and dedication. The state your body is in before working out can make or break you during grueling workouts, but what you do after your workout matters just as much. The post-workout meals and stretches will transform your body into the best condition possible to make sure you are ready to workout the next day, and the next, to your best ability. That is, until the weather warms, and you are free to show the crowd all the progress you have made during and post all those workouts.

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