Rest and recovery is an essential part of any workout routine. Your after-exercise recovery routine has a big impact on your fitness gains and sports performance and allows you to train much more effectively. Unfortunately, most people don’t have an exercise recovery plan to prevent muscle soreness and speed recovery. Here are some tips to get your post-workout plans on track.
The Importance of Recovery
Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building.This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session.
For weight training routines, this means that you should never work out the same muscle groups two days in a row. There are as many methods of recovery as there are athletes. The following are some of the most commonly recommended by the experts.
Replace Lost Fluids
You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery.2
Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.
If you are doing high-intensity exercise, work out longer than an hour, or are working out in hot weather, you may want to consider an electrolyte drink to help you rehydrate.Electrolyte drinks contain water, electrolytes in the form of sodium and potassium, as well as sugar.
Prioritize Recovery Foods
After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger, and be ready for the next challenge.This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle.
Experts say that to maximize muscle growth, you should eat 20 to 40 grams of protein after exercise.
Post-Workout Snack Options
Some great post-workout snacks that have protein and carbs include:
- Smoothie: Blend together fruit with Greek yogurt or milk (non-dairy milk works also). To bump up the protein, add in some nut butter or protein powder.
- Skinless chicken breast and brown rice
- Peanut butter (or nut butter) and whole grain toast
- Turkey wrap with veggies and avocado
Rest and Relax
Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. From flip-flops to Crocs, a pair of the best recovery shoes can help you relax after a workout.
Resting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It’s not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.
Stretch It Out
After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover. Although studies found that stretching doesn’t seem to prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness, it can help reduce muscle stiffness and prevent injuries.
For best results, do active or dynamic stretches before exercise (such as high knees, arm circles, walking lunges) and static stretches (holding a stretch for 15-30 seconds) after exercise.
Perform Active Recovery
Easy, gentle movement (such as a brisk walk or a bike ride) improves circulation, which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body.In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.
Get a Massage
Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. Using a massage gun can be an effective way to relieve sore muscles. You can also try self-massage and foam roller exercises for easing tight muscles and avoid the heavy sports massage price tag. Another option for avoiding the price and inconvenience of a professional massage is to spend a few minutes on one of these best roll-up acupressure mats.
Take an Ice Bath
Some athletes swear by ice baths, ice massage, or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness, and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues.
Get a Bit More Sleep
While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.
Try Visualization Exercises
Adding a mental practice to your workout routine can be a huge benefit for any athlete. Spending time practicing mental rehearsal or following a mindfulness meditation program can help process a calm, clear attitude and reduce anxiety and reactivity.
Getting familiar with how your mind works, how thoughts can bounce around, and how you don’t need to attach to any of them, is a wonderful way for an athlete to recover both mentally and physically.
Additionally, practicing positive self-talk can help change the ongoing dialogue in your head. Consider using both types of mental practice during your recovery days.
One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session, or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the type of exercise you do determines how long your recovery period should be.
Post-Training Recovery Guidelines
Here are some general guidelines for post-training recovery, according to ACE:
- High-intensity exercise or heavy lifting to build muscle: 24 to 72 hours of rest
- Endurance workouts: 24 hours of rest
- Strength workouts: 48 hours to 72 hours of rest
Remember, avoid working the same muscle group (for example, doing heavy squats) two days in a row. On your rest days, do light exercise such as walking or cycling at a slower pace.
CONCLUSION In the end I would like to conclude this article by saying that The most important thing you can do to recovery quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore, or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don’t have to force yourself to go slow.