There's no greater feeling than crushing your workout, that is until the next day when muscle fatigue and soreness kicks in. Want to know how you can combat this and make your post-workout recovery a little more bearable?
Read on to find out 6 tips that will help your body recovery a little faster and more effectively, so that you can come back stronger for your next workout.
1. Warming up and Cooling down
There's a reason fitness coaches and trainers are always preaching to their athletes about the importance of warming up. It not only prepares your muscles and joints for the intense workout ahead, but also allows more blood to get into your muscles significantly reducing the chances of muscle spasms or cramps during your workout.
Performing cool down exercises after your workout is also equally important, it helps to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which is the soreness in the muscles you feel after every workout. Cooling down also reduces lactic acid buildup, thus making your recovery a little more comfortable and ensures your body can bounce back quickly after a workout.
2. Drink lots of water
While this probably comes as no surprise, this point is so important that we just had to include it. Drinking enough fluids helps to remove the metabolic waste garnered during and after an intense workout, this slows down lactic acid build up and improves nutrient transfer in the body.
So how much water is actually adequate? Research has shown that the sweet spot is about 8-9 glasses per day, do keep in mind that although hydrating is good, too much could prove negative as it throws off your electrolyte balance which could lead to brain swelling and headaches. So try to keep within the recommended daily allowance and you'll be able to fully reap the health benefits hydration provides.
3. Eat a high protein post-workout meal
It is important to refuel after a good workout, it helps your body replenish all the glycogen & water lost during your workout. Ideally, you should eat a meal with some form of carbohydrates and high amounts of protein to increase your muscle recovery speed and allow them to rebuild stronger.
Not eating adequately after a workout could result in low blood sugar and prolonged muscle soreness, and some studies even suggests that this could make your muscles weaker in the long-term. So don't sleep on proper nutrition, giving your body the right fuel it needs to recover effectively is just as important as the workout.
4. Get some shut-eye
Just like electronic devices need to be charged, your body needs sufficient rest to recover, especially after a good workout. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night is especially important for people with active lifestyles, when we are asleep our body uses this time to recover, conserve energy, and repair and build up the muscles worked during the day.
Not getting enough sleep at night not only negatively affects your physical health by weakening your immune system & increasing your blood pressure, it also strips away your focus, affecting your work or studies. As packed as your schedule might be, you should always aim to get enough sleep every night.
5. Walk it off
You might be tempted to just lay around on your rest days, but this actually directly impedes your muscle recovery. Muscle soreness is caused by the build up of lactic acid in the muscles, when you do remain active this allows for greater lactic build up resulting in prolonged muscle fatigue.
Instead, go for a leisurely stroll to keep your muscles active and reduce the lactic acid build up, removes toxins and boost circulation. You could also use this time to think about your next workout and go in with a plan for maximum efficiency.
6. Visit a Chiropractor
Many people have the impression that you should only visit a chiropractor when you have suffered or are recovering from an injury. But this is not necessarily true, chiropractors are trained professionals that can help you loosen your muscles and joints, improve blood circulation and improve your quality of sleep. All these factors directly tie in to you workout proficiency and muscle recovery.
So with this in mind, we actually recommend a visit to the chiropractor once every 2 months to keep your body running at it's peak and just to improve your health in general. After all, these people are experts on sports therapy and bodily functions so their opinions and recommendations would be greatly beneficial, especially for active individuals.
Recovery and exercise go hand in hand, many dread the recovery process but it's during this time where your muscles rebuild and prepare to come back even stronger. So with that said, we think that incorporating these 6 tips in your recovery process is crucial to your overall health and fitness.