Whether you’re completing a basic workout or pushing yourself for an intense session, one of the most important factors of exercising is sufficient recovery. Recovery is important because it allows your body enough time to adapt to the stress of exercise.
Exercise, or any physical work, causes muscle tissue breakdown, fluid loss, and a reduction to your energy levels. Without working on muscle recovery, your muscles will continue to break down from your workout. If you are wondering what some of the best ways to recover from a workout are, we have some tips that may be able to help you in the future.
Don’t forget to stretch
One of the most important things you can do to help improve muscle recovery after a workout is a good old-fashioned stretch. It is scientifically proven that when you stretch your muscles after a workout, you are giving your body a jump-start on recovery. Stretching also releases stress and tension while boosting the health of your joints.
Stretching after a workout can also help improve your circulation, increase blood flow to your muscles (to help them heal quicker) and improve muscle soreness and stiffness. If you don’t stretch before and after your workout, this increases tightness in the body. What this means is your muscles are more likely to pull on your joints which can lead to pain in various areas throughout your body. To help prevent this, a simple stretch for five minutes before and after a workout session can help.
Get enough rest
When you rest, you give your muscles enough time to recover and become stronger. While exercise strengthens your heart, improves circulation, and creates microscopic tears for your muscles to develop, rest gives you time to replenish energy stored by carbohydrates in the form of glycogen.
Resting is also an imperative part of reducing your risk of injury. If you don’t rest well enough after a workout, you are more likely to experience muscle fatigue and soreness. When you experience both of these complications, the movements in your muscles decrease, causing you to feel weakness. Giving your body time to rest helps you to repair and regenerate muscle tissue, helps you to prevent injuries during workouts and therefore, helps to improve your form in future workout sessions.
Eat a healthy diet
Good nutrition and diet is an important factor of a healthy lifestyle. When you combine a healthy diet with physical activity, it is easier for you to maintain healthy body weight and helps you to reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.
In the short term, poor nutrition can increase tiredness, stress and your capacity to work. These things are not ideal when you’re leading a busy lifestyle! In the long term, continuing to eat an unhealthy diet means you risk suffering from various health problems such as obesity, dental hygiene issues, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. If you’re working out and combining this with a healthy, balanced diet, you’ll find that you have an improved rate of recovery when dealing with sore muscles after a workout. You don’t have to miss out on your favourite foods and snacks to stay healthy, though. You can take simple steps such as incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your diet. Not only will you feel better but you’ll also be telling your body that you’re receiving nutrients that you need to stay healthy, active and strong.
Drink lots of water
With enough water in your system after exercise, you will find that your body has sufficient hydration levels to recover. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints by reducing the friction between the joints. The easiest way to ensure you are hydrated enough is by drinking sufficient levels of water.
Drinking water doesn’t start after your workout is complete. If you’re going for a tough workout, be sure to drink before, during and after your exercise regime. If you are working out in hot conditions or are sweating more, you may also need to increase your electrolyte levels with a relevant electrolyte drink or powder.
Whether you are doing a basic workout or a more intense session, it is best to improve your body’s muscle recovery so that you can continue to stay active and reduce your risk of injury. Remember, if you’re unsure of whether you are giving your body enough time to recover, or you are concerned about particular aches, pains or injuries, it’s always best to speak to your doctor about any issues. They will be able to provide you with accurate and relevant information specific to your needs.