The 2 important ingredients for  cricketers for being lean and fit is diet and exercise Recovery is a very important detail that many people are overlooking and it's also one of the biggest reasons why people fall short of reaching their fitness goals.

The one thing almost everyone overlooks is what you do after the workout is over. How is doing anything after that workout is over going to help me lose any additional weight or get in better shape?

It's what you do after the workout is over, that determines how well you recover for the following day, so you can give your best effort again. Injuries, excessive soreness, lack of energy and mental burn out are just some of the things you'll deal with if you neglect doing proper post workout protocols. And by post workout protocols, I mean all the stuff you need to do to enhance your recovery process. The better you recover the better you'll do and the longer you'll be able to continue without missing a beat. And in the long run, it adds up to big results.

In fact, it can be the difference between getting amazing results or falling well short of your health and fitness goals and even worse, quitting and cheating yourself from ever realizing your health and fitness potential.

If you want to avoid any unnecessary halt in your progress you MUST have a good recovery protocol. And there are certain "must-do" post workout tips that are recommended if you want to ensure optimum recovery.

Here are  6 "must-do" recovery tips you should be doing after each workout:
  1. Cool down by continuing to move your body until your heart rate comes down. Low intensity walking, jogging or biking is probably the easiest methods. The intensity of the workouts should also dictate how long you should cool down. The higher the intensity the longer the cool down. Even if you don't have time, try and spend at least 5 - 10 minutes cooling down. Cold showers or ice baths can be used. Sea water is excellent.
  2. Hydrate. Make sure you hydrate your body with fluid and electrolytes. Your surrounding environment will also dictate how much fluid and electrolytes you need. The hotter the weather and the more you sweat, the more liquid and electrolytes you'll need. You don't need to drink Gatorade just because your favorite athlete drinks it. There are much healthier alternatives. Try water with lemon or lime (or both) a squeeze of orange and a pinch of salt. Many people think you need sugar to replenish your glycogen levels, but it's actually not completely true.. You can dilute commercial products like Staminade,Gatorade etc. by about a 4:1 ratio
  3. Roll out your muscles. Use a foam roller, PVC pipe, a small ball ,a massage stick or whatever else you have access to. Soft tissue therapy does wonders for your muscle recovery. Rolling out your sore muscles promote blood follow into various areas of micro tears that occurred in your muscles during the workout (...which is completely normal by the way...) and by doing so it helps to accelerate your muscle's healing process. Warning! If you've never rolled out before it can be quite painful. And unfortunately, if you feel more pain in a certain spot, it's usually an indication there's more micro tears, so you need to give that area more love...and that means spend more time rolling it out. (Ouch!) But trust me, you'll be glad that next day when you're not nearly as sore.
  4. Rehab and joint mobilization. If you have any muscular imbalance or problems with your joints...which is like 99% of people since we're all somewhat need to make sure that you spend a little time doing rehab exercises or mobilization exercises to try to fix (or at least manage) the problems. You don't need to spend more then 5 - 10 minutes doing these exercises. Pick 1 - 3 exercises to do after each workout and do 1 - 3 sets for 10 - 20 reps at a time.
  5. Light static stretches. Although you shouldn't do any static stretches before you workout, since it  reduces it's ability to contract and work optimally, doing them afterward is a good way to re-establish it's normal resting length. It's a little like rebooting your's re-starting fresh every time. Although there are numerous stretches you can do, here's a couple of stretches that I feel everyone can benefit from - hip flexor stretch and pec stretch. The hip flexor stretch will help you release some of the tightness you may be feeling in your low back and stretching your pecs will help with your posture and forward rounding of your shoulders which can precipitate into many other upper body joint issues. Hold these stretches for 30 seconds or more. Another great way to enhance these stretches, is to perform a "contract, relax and stretch" protocol also known as facilitated stretching. It's when you isometrically contract the muscle being stretched for a short duration (around 6 seconds), then relax and get into a deep second stretch (15 - 20 seconds). You can repeat this process 2 - 3 times per stretch and your goal is to try and stretch further after each contraction. This works well for the hamstrings.
  6. Post workout nutrition. Now this is where opinions will differ, and it really comes down to your personal health and fitness goals. Most commonly recommended post workout nutrition is eating or drinking some combination of protein and carbs. No. 6 is not so important for over 60’s cricketers who pace themselves.
So there you have it, 6 "must-do" post workout tips that'll make a huge difference when you incorporate it into your daily fitness routine. Keep in mind it's the little things that add up to make a big difference in the long run. All it takes is 15 - 20 minutes a day to keep your muscles healthy while drastically reducing soreness, improve your muscle imbalances and keep your joints functioning optimally, so you can continue to make progress and achieve your ultimate fitness goal.
Ross Price   Former Head of Physical Education Department , Deakin University ,
                    ( Warrnambool campus )