6 Steps for Speeding up Post-Workout Recovery
Some soreness and stiffness in your muscles are to be expected after a good workout, which is why rest and recovery is an important part of any workout routine. Your post-exercise recovery routine has a huge impact on your fitness levels and performance and will allow you to train much more effectively in the future. Unfortunately, recovery after exercise is something that many people forget about. We’ve put together some top tips to help you speed up post-workout recovery.
Replace Lost Fluids:
During exercise, you will lose a lot of fluid from your body through sweating. Ideally, you should be drinking water to replace any fluids lost while exercising, but rehydrating yourself after exercise is a good way to boost your recovery. Water is important for supporting every nutrient transfer and metabolic function in the body. And, if you’re doing heavy workouts and sweating for hours, adequate fluid replacement is even more important.
Refuel with the Right Foods:
You already know that in order for your workouts to have the best effect on your health, fitness, and figure, you need to be eating the right kind of diet. Exercise depletes your body’s energy stores, so refueling it with the right kind of food is important for tissue recovery and strength building. This is even more important if you’re trying to build muscle or if you’re performing difficult workouts daily. Ideally, you should eat a meal rich in high-quality protein and carbohydrates within an hour of your workout.
Get Enough Sleep:
When you are asleep at night, your body is hard at work repairing itself. And the better quality of sleep you are getting, the better you will feel when you wake up in the morning. After a hard workout, resting and getting some good quality sleep allows the repair and recovery process to happen in your body. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, there are several things that you can do. Moving your workout to earlier in the day can help, or sometimes, you might just need a new mattress. Check out EachNight’s post on mattress sizes to find the right fit for you.
Stretch Your Muscles:
Most of us remember that it’s important to stretch our muscles and warm them up before working out, but many people forget that this is just important after working out, too. Gentle stretching, similar to how you would warm-up, is a fast and simple way of helping your muscles recover. You can also perform active recovery with easy, gentle movement such as a walk, which improves circulation and nutrient transport around the body to help the muscles repair and refuel faster.
Contrast Water Therapy:
Many athletes swear by contrast water therapy to recover from workouts faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injuries. It works by taking alternating cold and hot showers. To do this, alternate two minutes of hot water with a 30-second blast of cold water when taking your post-workout shower. Repeat four times with a minute of average temperatures between each blast of hot and cold.
Get a Massage:
If you’re feeling particularly sore, a massage can help speed up your recovery. It feels good and helps to improve circulation while releasing any tension from your muscles and allowing you to fully relax. If you don’t want to pay the high price tag for a sports massage, you could try foam roller exercises or self-massage, which also works well.
After a workout, not allowing your body to recover and repair itself properly will lead to a higher risk of injury and muscle soreness. Keep these tips in mind after working out to get you back in the gym as soon as possible.