While warming up before a workout is absolutely necessary so is what you do after a grueling workout session. Post Workout recovery and Rest are some of the most essential parts of any workout routine but are often the most overlooked. No matter the type of exercise you are doing, whether that be cardio training, resistance training or playing sports, your body is being put under stress and will need time to recover. Worst of all not letting your body properly recover can leave you feeling sore and sluggish for the next few days, hindering your ability to workout again. The last thing you want to do is overwork your body to the point of exhaustion, putting yourself at risk of an injury. So be smart about your recovery plan, only you can tell how your body feels. While it’s great to push yourself, know your limits.
If you are looking to get the most out of your workout make sure you allow your body time to recover, allowing your muscles to repair and rebuild themselves. A muscle often times needs 24-48 hours to fully recover, and training it again before it is fully recovered may just lead to tissue breakdown, the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Here are a few workout recovery tips to help guide you.
- Replace Fluids: Even for people that do not workout, staying hydrated is important. Your body loses a lot of fluids when working out, so drinking water during and after a workout is necessary to stay healthy. Water supports every metabolic function and helps transport nutrients throughout the body. We also recommended to drink some Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) either during or after your workout to help you recover and stay hydrated, try this:
- Post Workout Nutrition: After a hard workout your energy stores are depleted, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. Make sure you are supplying your body with enough nutrients and calories to get through the rest of the day and repair your body. For some post workout nutrition, try one of these to help refuel:
- Pre/Post Workout Stretching: Stretching may not sound like the most fun thing to do and can often times feel like a chore for some. However, it is important to get your body warmed up and ready for action. Post workout stretching helps to release lactic acid that built up during your workout, and help reduce soreness. Post workout stretching also is a gradual cool-down for your body and brings your heart-rate down after a vigorous workout.
- Get Quality Sleep: It’s shocking hearing how many people these days say they get 6 hours or less of sleep per night. Sleeping is the time for your body to help restore itself. Ideally most people should get 7-9 hours per night. If you are the type of person that has difficulty sleeping at night we would recommend this all natural product that promotes a deep and restful sleep:
- Active Recovery: So maybe sitting on the couch watching Netflix for an entire day is not your style. If you are taking a rest day from intense exercise, you can still be active. Go for a walk, bike ride or maybe even do some yoga. Do something that is not going to put a lot of stress on your body. Active recovery will help relieve soreness by stimulating blood circulation to the muscles. So, you can still be active just turn down the intensity.
- Make sure you are eating enough: Even if you are trying to lose weight and need to be in a caloric deficit, your body still needs to consume enough calories to function properly. Starving yourself will put a lot of stress on your body, can be extremely dangerous, and can actually slow your metabolism down, which is not going to help achieve your weight loss goals. If you are trying to build muscle you may need to consume even more calories than usual to ensure your body is getting more than it’s basic nutrient requirements to help your muscles grow.
- Roll With it: Foam Rollers have just started getting the love they deserve over the last few years. Rolling before a workout will help prepare and loosen your muscles for the workout to come. This will also help post workout by increasing blood flow to the muscles you just worked out and rushing more oxygen and nutrients to them. The faster those exhausted muscles receive the nutrients, the faster they can recover and rebuild. Rolling will help with stiffness and improve flexibility. It’s like getting a deep tissue massage without spending all the money.
- Plan your Workout Week Properly: Having a schedule and sticking to it, is important. This all depends on how many times you want to exercise a week. If you are trying to workout 3x per week spread those days out so you have time to recover (ex: Monday, Wednesday, Friday). If you are a gym rat and want to get into the gym 5-6 days a week you need to emphasize on different body parts, ensuring you aren’t overworking the same muscle groups.