Working out is a lot of fun, and can be very relaxing all on its own. The trouble with that, though, is that our minds can still be racing and our bodies still pumped and ready for action. Nothing wrong with that, you might think, except your body needs to get into recovery mode. When your knows that it won’t be called upon for a while, to exert itself that is, it will begin the rebuild process and you might actually be able to sleep.
Many people advocate meditation, and there is a lot to say for that. However, if that seems a little sedentary you can relax the body and mind in other ways.
5 great ways to really unwind after a workout
One – The massage
If you have have ever considered a massage, you should consider a massage chair. Take a look at these Osim massage chair reviews, and tell me they don’t look like a good idea!
As well as helping to relieve tension, a good massage is known to release endorphins. Endorphins are the so-called ‘feel good’ chemicals, and they can actually aid in recovery after a good workout.
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Two – Practice your breathing
Just because you do it everyday, that doesn’t make you an expert! But seriously, you should practice the art of deep breathing techniques in order to relax and focus your mind. Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed, and try to do it at the same time of day each time.
Remove restrictive clothing, if you can, make sure that you are able to get comfortable. Sit, or lie, comfortably – whichever feels better for you.
- Lying down: Stretch your legs right out and hip width apart, with your arms by your sides with the palms facing up.
- Sitting in a chair: Uncross your legs, and make sure your head is suitably supported. Keep your arms on the arms of the chair
Focus on your breathing, drawing in and expelling air slowly and in rhythm.
Three – Muscle relaxation
As with the breathing exercises, make yourself as comfortable as you can and focus on your breathing. Now, one by one identify and focus on each muscle. If you do this for any muscles causing you pain first, you may find it more pleasurable.
- Neck: Slowly and gently push your chin toward your chest, then just as slowly lift up again
- Shoulders: Shrug, pulling your shoulders up to your ears then pull them down toward your feet.
- Chest: Breathe in deeply, pulling in your diaphragm. Breathe out again, slowly, feeling your belly deflate.
- Legs: Keeping your legs straight, point your toes directly away from you – straightening your feet to do it. Point your toes to your head, bending your feet at the ankles as you do so.
- Arms: Stretch both of your arms slowly and away from your body, then relax. The importance of stretching anyway can’t be overstated.
Four – Socialise
Finally, an excuse to get out to the bar with your friends! Well, maybe not but spending time with your friends is an excellent way to wind down and rid yourself of the day’s stresses.
Five – Turn it up
Music is known to lower blood pressure, heart rate and reduce anxiety levels. Create a ‘mix tape’ of your favourite songs to chill out to, and just allow your mind to focus on the melody and drift away.
Relaxation is always important, but it can be very beneficial after physical exertion too. Whatever makes you feel better after a hard day, or even a good one, can only be good thing.