Post Workout Recovery Can Be Easy – Here's How
Most people are so focused on what they do during their workout that they forget that what happens after they exercise is just as important. It is in post workout recovery that your body begins to build lean muscle mass. Not paying attention to your recovery could lead to weight gain and reduced performance level. Get the results that your hard work warrants by paying attention to the suggestions below every time you finish a workout.
Tips for Eating After a Workout
- Eat a snack. Glycogen stores in your body need to be replenished after you work out so that your muscles can grow. Studies have shown that eating within an hour after exercise is effective in helping with the process. Healthy snacks that include proteins, carbs, and a little healthy fat are best.
- Spread your protein intake across the day. Consuming smaller amounts of protein throughout the day makes for more efficient digestion. A breakfast of eggs and quinoa is a good way to start, while a glass of skim milk is great at the end of the day.
- Replace potassium. Potassium stores get depleted when you sweat. Replenish those stored by eating foods like bananas and potatoes.
- Up your Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D deficiency is common among adults, which can mean longer recovery times. Dairy products and Vitamin D rich products like cereal and bread will help. Also, try to get out in the sun more often.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water and staying hydrated is a must. While water is great for most, extreme athletes may need to turn to sports drinks filled with electrolytes.
- Cut back on alcohol. Liquor is known to cause dehydration, so wait a few hours after exercise before using alcohol, and try to limit yourself to 2 servings per day.
Post Workout Recovery – Exercise Tips
- Cool down. The road to recovery begins while you are still at the gym. Finish each workout with slower, gentler movements to help your body transition to rest.
- Stretch. When you are in cool down mode, be sure to stretch, as this will help with flexibility between workouts. Stretching is an effective way to reduce soreness.
- Resting is important. Not everyone is the same, but most people need a full day of rest between workouts, as well as some active rest that includes less strenuous activities.
- Build up gradually. Trying to rush into workouts that are too strenuous will cause injuries and increase recovery time. A safe way to progress is to increase workout intensity by 10% each week.
More Tips for Faster Recovery
- Get plenty of sleep. Your body tends to be best at healing when you are asleep. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule and shoot for at least 7 hours per night.
- Manage your stress. With stress comes inflammation and a host of health issues. Try mediation or breathing exercises to help manage your stress level.
- Roll and knead. Myofascial release is one of the most effective ways to combat muscle soreness. This is performed by putting pressure on the connective tissues surrounding your muscles. It’s why so many people turn to foam rolling and massage after a strenuous workout.
- Temperature adjustments. Heat or cold can help with tired muscles, so find which of the two you like best. Heating pads and ice packs are a good way to start, while alternating between hot and cold showers also helps.
- Use compression garments. These are a fine addition to any athletic wardrobe, as compression garments have proven effective in reducing recovery time and helping with performance.
- Talk to your doctor. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before engaging in any new workout program. Mild pain and discomfort can be treated with over the counter pain relivers, as well as natural remedies like turmeric and ginger.
Allow Your Body to Heal
During rigorous exercise, muscles are damaged and the chemical balance in your body is disrupted. These are the natural effects of sustained physical exertion. Your body can and will recover from these effects if you give it time and take care to replenish depleted nutrients and hydration. Your workouts will be more effective if you allow your body enough time to rest and recover. Create a workout plan that includes the tips outlined above and you should in good shape.
Let RX Fitness Equipment Help
If you're starting fresh or revamping your existing fitness program and you'd like to discuss it with a professional, RX Fitness works with hundreds of coaches, personal trainers, and nutritionists. We'd be happy to refer you to one who can help. If you're looking for a great selection of fitness equipment and accessories of all kinds, we carry the top brands to fit every goal and budget and we're here to make your fitness routine more productive. Stop by our store in Thousand Oaks or give us a call. And don't forget to check out Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, available at Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
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