#FitnessFriday: How To Unwind and Recover After Your Workouts
Reward yourself with a post-workout ritual.
Master SoulCycle Instructor Maddy Ciccone, host of the podcast MaddzTaddz, understands the struggle of sticking to fitness schedules from home — including getting amped up in the same space where you wind down. “I think at-home workouts [also make it] hard to stay motivated because no one’s holding you accountable except yourself,” she says. “Something I have coined, that comes up a lot when I coach, is, ‘Accountability takes the casual out of it.'” After holding yourself accountable by “showing up” for your at-home fitness regimens, you can then reward yourself with self-care practices that will help you wind-down after your workouts.
Here are Ciccone’s favorite ways to wind down after at-home workouts, whether following a SoulCycle Livestream or a run in her neighborhood.
Rehydrate with electrolytes:
After a heavy-duty sweat sesh, it’s important to rehydrate. Optimal hydration comes from a special mix of minerals that will help rehydrate you more efficiently. “I absolutely love Liquid IV when it comes to rehydrating,” Ciccone says. “They just did a partnership with Kygo [creating] a pina colada flavor that I’m obsessed with.” Liquid IV uses cellular transport technology (CTT) to deliver a ratio of sodium, glucose, and potassium that is said to hydrate you two-to-three times faster than regular water. Ciccone’s favorite flavor is Liquid IV Kygo Pina Colada Hydration Multiplier, $24.47, but we are also fans of classic Lemon Lime, $24.47.
Massage Your Muscles:
“My lifesaver is my Hypervolt Gun by Hyper Ice,” Ciccone says. “Usually, I sit on the couch with my Hypervolt and rub out my legs, or stretch on the floor in front of the TV.” Hyper Ice Hypervolt, $349, uses percussion therapy to work out your muscles following intense workouts. Cited benefits include accelerated warmup and recovery, improved flexibility and range of motion, and reduce soreness and stiffness. We are also keen to try out the enhanced muscle recovery imparted by the infrared heat from HigherDOSE Infrared Mat, $995. Or, if you’re a fan of taking relaxing soaks in the tub, using a Joy Skin & Body CBD Bath Bomb, $14.96, can relax and soothe your muscles, while scoring you a night of restful sleep.
Stretching after a workout can help you recover more quickly by improving the blood flow to your muscles, helping to prevent soreness and stiffness. “The easiest stretch when you’re on the couch is to have one leg on the floor and pull the other one across it like you’re sitting cross-legged,” Ciccone shares. “We used to joke that this was the ‘smell your foot’ exercise, but it actually is a great hip opener.” To do the stretch correctly, she notes that your ankle should rest a little bit above your kneecap on your thigh. You can leave it there, or for a deeper stretch, lean your torso forward simultaneously. For comfortable stretching, wearing your favorite pair of black leggings — like re-spin x I am a voter. Legging, $42 — is ideal.
Put Away Your Phone:
“When I teach [classes] later in the evenings, it’s always harder to wind down. I have to actually ‘put my phone to bed’ [to do so],” Ciccone explains. Experts have linked blue light exposure to disrupted melatonin production, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy, produced by the brain’s pineal gland which is cued by the day’s light-dark cycle. Putting down your phone and other electronics before bed is one way to help you unwind and get your body ready for rest. You can also try out a blue light blocking screen cover like EyeJust Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector, $30, to cut back on disruptive high-energy visible light, or HEV’s, in the evening.
Have a Nighttime Beverage:
No, we’re not talking about booze; we’re thinking more along the lines of an herbal tea or an adaptogen-packed elixir. Ciccone is a fan of Beam Dream Powder, $95, which combines melatonin, CBD, magnesium, reishi, and L-theanine. “I do half oat milk, half water, and one scoop of [the mix],” she says. “It’s delicious — almost like hot chocolate, but tastes a little more like cinnamon.”
Pat Yourself On The Back:
When you’re winding down, remember to pat yourself on the back to encourage yourself for the hard work you’ve accomplished. This mentality is key to making workouts part of your lifestyle. “Whatever you’re doing, whatever hobby or skill or fitness routine, whatever it is you’re working on, stop treating your life like it’s pass/fail,” she says. “Just get out there, play, get your feet wet, and keep going. It’s in the action and the doing that we acquire the knowledge and the skill to better ourselves.”