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3 Things You Need To Add To Your Post-Workout Routine ASAP

From muscle-relaxing tips to skincare essentials, let's get into what experts say your body needs post-workout.

Wellness

With quarantine somewhat lifted, some of you are either back in the gym, have a pretty good flow with the home workouts, or if you're like me, then you don't have a routine yet. All of these are perfectly fine because this article isn't about your actual workout, but more so about what you should be doing after. There are a lot of resources that focus on weight loss and toning, but do you know what to do for your post-workout recovery?

From muscle-relaxing tips to skincare essentials, let's get into what experts say your body needs for a healthy recovery.

*Some links might be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links provided, xoNecole may earn a small commission.

You Gotta Cool Down

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One vital post-workout recovery tip is cooling down and lowering your heart rate. Cooling down prevents dizziness and allows the blood to flow back to the muscles you've worked on during your workout. Cooling down can look like a slow walk, stretching, etc. Whichever you choose, it should last for at least five minutes at a continuously reduced speed.

Finding the right recovery routine can take time. For Atlanta-based fitness trainer, Toi Sharae, it took multiple trials and errors before she found what worked best for her body. What she found worked more efficiently was starting with a foam roller, stretching the body, drinking water, and eating a healthy post-workout snack.

Drinking water also has many post-workout benefits like maintaining body temperature, lubricating joints, and promoting proper cell and tissue function.

Give Your Muscles Some TLC

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Foam rollers are one of the best ways to go in and remove soreness and tension in the muscles. It's one of those feel-good pains where it may hurt at first but is very beneficial later. Using a foam roller can help you get ready for a workout or help you recover faster. Think of foam rolling as a way to massage your body after an intense workout. By doing this, you prevent injury, boost performance, and improve your flexibility and range of motion.

When it comes to foam rolling correctly, there are a few things you want to know. First, slowly run the roller down your calves, hamstrings, etc. Then, use your body weight to apply as much pressure as you can handle. Toi Sharae also mentions that having the right foam roller for your needs is essential, "I use a medium-sized firm and high-density foam roller to help target certain areas in my body that need more attention. I do recommend if you are a beginner in foam rolling, start with a less dense roller to get used to the pressure."

Your Skincare Is Important Too

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Working out regularly can have some positive effects on your skin, depending on your routine. Dermatologist, Dr. Mona Gohara says regular exercise can actually provide many skincare benefits like leaving your face with a healthy natural glow and improving your skin elasticity. It can also decrease your cortisol levels, which is a hormone that maintains blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism, and responds to infections and stress. Cortisol can worsen acne and other skin conditions, so finding your zen zone and exercising is key!

On the flip side, it's crucial to clean and hydrate your skin post-workout. When you exercise, you sweat a lot, so showering post-workout is essential to remove bacteria from the skin. Both Dr. Gohara and Toi Sharae recommend using Dove's Deep Moisture Instant Foaming Body Wash. It's gentle, lightweight, and formulated with NutriumMoisture technology that cleans, softens, and hydrates the skin for 24 hours.

Lastly, exfoliating your skin (body and face) before and after a workout is another helpful tip. It helps remove all the dirt, oil, and other build-up that sweat can trap inside your pores. If not, it can lead to breakouts and clogged dry skin. So after your next workout, make sure you stretch, foam roll, cleanse, and exfoliate to get the maximum benefits for your muscles and skin.

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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