What You Should Do After Working Out - IMPACT Physical Therapy

What You Should Do After Working Out


Maximize Your Results with These Post-Workout Habits

At IMPACT Physical Therapy and The Chicago Recovery Room, we meet some great people in Chicago and Champaign, Illinois that love to be active or are looking forward to returning to their peak health. Most know how to put themselves through a workout or are doing a great job following the routine we planned for them. But just as important as the workout is, is what you do afterwards. Read on to learn more.

Mix in Active Recovery

The body is going to need time to recover otherwise damage is going to slowly build until something breaks down. But there is something called active recovery that can help decrease muscle soreness and get you feeling better, faster.   Rather than sitting on the couch to rest, mix in light walking and cycling and stop by the Chicago Recovery Room to utilize NormaTec compression gear, full body immersion Ice baths and Marc Pro E-stim devices.  Active recovery will help stimulate blood flow, improve circulation in your muscles and decrease delayed onset muscle soreness allowing you to feel and perform better.

Stretch and Perform your Maintenance Exercises

After a solid, intense workout, the muscles are going to stay warm for 30-45 minutes. Utilize this time to stretch out your body. If you wait until your muscles have cooled too much, the muscles will start to contract and you’ll run the risk of injury. Stretching while the muscles are still warm will aid recovery, increase your muscles’ pliability, and help improve blood flow.   After exercise is also a great time to squeeze in some of your home exercises from physical therapy in order to prevent the reoccurrence of injury.  Maintain your stretching and Maintenance Exercises and you are bound to improve in your next Functional Movement Screen at IMPACT PT!

Practice Self Massage

The best soft tissue mobilization will likely come from a trained therapist, but there’s no reason that you can’t do it yourself, too. Use foam rollers to practice self-myofascial release. Roll back and forth over your muscles to help relax the muscles and promote circulation. Try rolling over your muscle groups until you hit a sensitive spot. Apply pressure until the pain dissipates. Repeat if necessary.

Refuel with Adequate Protein, Carbohydrates, and Electrolytes

When you’re rebuilding muscle, the body is going to benefit from any help it can get. Consuming an appropriate balance of amino acids will help promote the growth of muscle fibers at the time of greatest need.   Replenishing glycogen stores by consuming carbohydrates is also important to the refueling process.  Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are also paramount to human performance and recovery and can be found in many fruits and vegetables such as bananas.  Mix one in with a protein smoothie or eat it whole.


As obvious as it is, people still aren’t drinking enough water in general, let alone after a workout. If you want to benefit from exercise and a boosted metabolism, replenishing your water levels and electrolytes is imperative for most bodily functions.

Give Yourself an Easier Week

When you’re caught up in the dedication of improving your body, it’s easy to keep pushing as hard as possible to attain new limits. Unfortunately, this can be counterproductive. Overtraining and under recovering can prevent muscle growth and impede performance. Approximately once a month, cut your reps in half on weight training and cut a mile off the jog. You’ll end the week feeling much more energized.

Get Enough Sleep

The benefits of getting sleep are well known, but athletes and those in physical therapy should be trying to get more sleep than normal. The wear and tear on the body is repaired during sleep, so attempting to attain 9 hours per night is preferable. Another consideration is that if you’re not well rested, it can increase stress levels and impair focus. Do you want to impede your drive towards working out? If not, get some rest!

IMPACT Physical Therapy Will Rebuild You

Our physical therapists in Chicago and Champaign are ready to rehabilitate our Illinois clients today. We provide a wide array of services, varying from the simplest athletic taping to advanced video gait analysis. Whether you’re in need of post-op rehab or athletic training services, there is no physical therapy in Chicago quite like us. Contact us today to get started on the new you.