Top 10 post workout treats

Rewards for completing exercise

Be it a heavy training session, a race or just an exercise class at the gym, we all deserve a little bit of pampering after our workout. Not only will a few relaxing rituals serve to calm your mind and recuperate your body after exercise, the prospect of a comforting treat to look forward to is a great way to keep you motivated during a workout. Try some of the pampering ideas below, and remember to drink plenty of water to replenish what you've lost through exercise.

A tasty, healthy treat

After a workout it is a good idea to replenish your energy stores with a healthy snack. Why not make yourself a smoothie? Toss equal handfuls of blackberries, strawberries and blueberries into a blender along with 250ml of soya milk and a pinch of cinnamon (great for maintaining healthy joints). Wizz the whole lot together with three ice cubes. Delicious. And only 140 calories with just three grams of fat!

Take an invigorating shower

Take an invigorating shower using shower gels made with ginger, lemon or grapefruit.Ginger is thought to have properties that can stimulate our will and motivation, and the essential oils found in citrus fruits like lemon and grapefruit are great for relieving sore or aching muscles. So shower to condition your body and mind for the next bout of exercise.

Recline in the sauna or jacuzzi

If you are a member of a gym, find out if they have a sauna or Jacuzzi. These facilities should be all a part of your monthly fee so make sure you find time to use them! As using a sauna brings about body responses similar to those of exercise (increase in pulse rate and circulation), it is a good to have a cool shower before entering the sauna.

Have a relaxing massage

Treat yourself to an occasional post-workout massage – especially if you're doing resistance training – to knead out any stress and tightness. In addition to feeling great, massages improve circulation and help rid the body of waste products that can accumulate when muscles are overworked. If you're at home, ask a friend or partner to give you a massage after exercise.

Stretch out

Indulge your muscles with a thorough stretching session; take ample time to really stretch from head to toe. This will relax and calm you after your workout, will help to reduce any soreness you might feel the following day, as well as bringing long-term benefits to your posture and overall flexibility.

Go on a shopping spree

Reward yourself with a new exercise kit. Hitting the shops and investing is a great treat. Try and find something you really love, something you can’t wait to put on. This will not only serve as a great post-workout pleasure but will spur you on to complete all your future exercise sessions.

Give your feet a break

Treat your feet after exercise. If you have been undergoing frequent workout training, your feet will be baring the brunt of it, especially if you are doing repetitive activities like running. Try soaking your feet in some warm water, great for relaxing tired feet and drawing out toxins. However, try not to soak for too long – you don’t want to soften your feet too much and leave yourself prone to blisters.

Find your inner zen

Meditation is the perfect way to unwind and relax after any workout. Yoga practitioners always conclude sessions with periods of meditation as it’s a great way to totally relax the body and mind. Meditation involves consciously focusing your attention – be it on your breathing, sounds or ideas – to alter your state of consciousness. If you have not meditated before, just find a quiet place to sit and maybe listen to some relaxing music, or alternatively why not try taking a class?

Drink a delicious herbal infusion

Have a cup of tea after exercise. Herbal tea is a great tonic after exercise and with so many to choose from, each with different medicinal effects, you can pick one just for you. Go for teas such as peppermint which is a strong muscle relaxant, nettle which provides iron and is great for the circulatory system, or go for the calming affects of chamomile. If you like it sweet, avoid using sugar – honey is the far better option and is thought to also reduce fatigue after a workout.

Take a relaxing bath

A soak in the tub is probably the most obvious post-workout pleasure but there is nothing like a long hot bath to relieve aching tired muscles after a workout. A great idea is to drop in some essential oils. Try ylang ylang; not only has it uplifting qualities but it's also been found to slow down too rapid breathing or heartbeat, perfect after a strenuous workout.

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