Avoiding that Post-Workout "Glow"!

I’m a huge fan of squeezing some kind of fitness activity into a lunchtime break.

David in Bridge Pose

David in Bridge Pose

When I was working in an office I would run out to the gym or a yoga class, making up the little bit of extra time at the beginning or end of the day.

Of course, most days this meant that by the end of the workout I was dripping with sweat and having to go back to the office.  The problem was particularly acute when I attended a lovely hot yoga class at the fantastic Sweat Studios in Milton Keynes. 

With Hot Yoga, or an intense workout like a HITT session, you are going to have increased your core temperature significantly, so much so that even after a shower and dressing you may still be “glowing uncomfortably” for some time afterwards.

Below then are a few tips for managing the situation, based both on scientific research, and some good old-fashioned practical experience.

Take a Moment (and a sip of cold drink)

After your class/workout just take one minute to sit and rest. 

Give your body a chance to understand that the fun has finished.  Give yourself permission to take a single minute to just sit and breathe without running around or even checking your phone.  :-)

If there is a fan or air conditioning unit position yourself that to take advantage of the airflow.

Have a drink at this point (water, coconut water or an electrolyte supplement), as cold as you can make it - iced if possible.  Studies* have shown that people who drink cold water perspire less than those who drink warm.

Manage the Shower Temperature

When you step in shower don’t be tempted to set it to freezing temperatures.  When you do this the blood vessels near your skin shutdown and trap heat inside your body - you will actually end up perspiring more!

Instead, set the temperature so that it feels slightly cool.  Just below body temperature, but nothing unpleasant.

After a minute or two. when you become comfortable, lower the temperature again by a little bit.  You can repeat this process two or three times bringing your core temperature down gradually and naturally for the body.

Wear light comfortable loose clothing

When you get dressed avoid immediately throwing on that big warm jumper.

If possible, dress in loose cotton clothing.  A loose summer dress is great, or leave shirts/blouses untucked.

Let the air flow around you and the sweat evaporate cooling you, not soaking into the skin and clothes.

Extra Tips

Take a Dunk!

This is my favourite solution.  When it’s possible!

If your gym has a swimming pool give yourself a quick wash and then jump in the pool for five minutes. 

Pretty much every pool is going to be heated at slightly below body temperature, so this will really cool your system down perfectly.

Hands and wrists

If you are still glowing more than you are comfortable with by the time you return to the office, then pop to the bathroom and hold your hands and wrists under cold running water.

There are many large blood vessels near the surface of hands and wrists, it’s why our hands suffer quickly in the cold, but here we can take advantage of our anatomy.

If it helps you can think your hands like elephant ears.  A great place to lose heat!  :-)


*  Reference
Morris, N., Coombs, G., Jay, O. (2016). Ice slurry ingestion leads to a lower net heat loss during exercise in the heat. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 48(1), 114-122.