Yes! You’ve done your workout; you’re feeling generous and good about yourself (as you should go you!). But wait! What are you doing AFTER your exercise? And I don’t mean drinks at your local pub!
We spend so much energy on our actual workout routine, and we forget to focus on the recovery after a workout. Did you know your body repairs its tissue and strength about 24 to 48 hours after a workout? Therefore it is crucial to take care of your body before and aid recovery after training.
It’s essential to prep your body before a workout, invest in appropriate workout attire, and always take at least an extra ten minutes working towards fast muscle recovery after a workout.
1. How to recover after a workout: replenish nutrients
Now you know the significance of taking care of your body after a workout for recovery. So, how can you achieve that?
We have lots of useful tips to give your body what it needs after a workout to recover fast.
What is the best recovery drink after a workout?
After an intense workout, you need to rehydrate. Lots of fluids are lost through sweat during exercise, so making sure you drink plenty of liquids is essential for fast recovery after a workout.
Water is key, but drinking a protein shake in tandem can aid with recovery, as well as helping muscle gain and fat loss! We like mixing our post workout recovery shake with a little peanut butter and oat milk.
Eat for energy
After you’ve replenished your liquids, it’s essential to eat a small snack to refuel your energy. Your body requires fuel from food to recover after a workout, as it burns off fat to produce energy. Ensure you’re eating healthy foods, nutritious foods and getting the correct amount of protein after your workout.
If you want an additional nutritional boost, a protein bar is useful for upping those levels in a flash; take it alongside an amino acid supplement (it’s one of the best post workout recovery supplements around) to boost the protein’s effectiveness and help muscle gain.
Some of our favorite supplements and snacks for recovery are:
- Protein bars
- Amino acids
- Oat powder
- Whey powder
**It’s recommended that you eat within 60 minutes of finishing your workout to help repair muscle tissue and speed up recovery!**
2. How to recover after a workout: rest!
How much recovery time after a workout do I need?
Just because you planned a workout week doesn’t mean you’re chained to that plan. Recovering from high-intensity workouts means you need to listen to what your body needs.
Are you feeling too sore? Take a break for a day or two. Are you not feeling sore? Then go back the next day! But always ensure you aren’t pushing your body beyond its physical limits and alternating routines to rotate muscle exercise.
Get some sleep!
Everyone is always talking about the importance of sleep but do we ever listen?
Sleep is crucial for our overall health, both physical and mental. As you sleep, your body is rebuilding damaged tissue from a strenuous workout or any activities throughout your day.
Take a cold bath (if you can bear it!)
Okay, stay with us! It sounds freezing to think about. However, taking a cold or cool bath is perfect for recovery after a workout and can prevent your body from getting too sore.
Many people believe you need warmth for muscle soreness or strain, but it’s the opposite. You need cool temperatures to stop blood from flowing to warm sore spots. It will prevent pain from setting in and leave you less painful after workout recovery.
If you can’t hack a cold bath, use an ice pack to soothe sore muscles instead. You can invest in a specific ice pack, or just wrap a packet of frozen vegetables in a tea towel and hold it onto the sore spots until they’ve improved.
3. How to recover after a workout: more exercise
Sometimes the best way to recover is… more exercise!
It seems counterintuitive, but often what your aching muscles need is to be used and stretched to loosen them up and release any painful tension left over from your workout.
Do a light workout on your day off
Adding a gentle workout to your recovery day routine can really help ease that muscle tension and prepare you for your next day on; it’ll prevent you losing momentum in your fitness routine, too!
Our favourite ways to loosen up those muscles:
- Resistance bands
- A light, short jog
Add stretching to the end of your routine
You might want to reserve about five minutes of your workout for a light stretching routine. You don’t want to cause yourself pain or overextend your workout, but stretching gently loosens muscles and relieves tension or tightness.
This minor step will drastically impact how sore you feel and how quickly you can recover. It’s similar to walking after a run; you’re slowing down your workout. If you’re lifting weights, it’s good to stretch before for muscle prep and after training for recovery.
Use a foam roller for recovery
Foam rollers are a fantastic investment; they help keep your back aligned and are much cheaper than paying for massages. Added benefits of investing in a foam roller include muscle tightness relief, reduced inflammation, increased flexibility and improved workout recovery.
They’re simple to use. You just need a roller and a flat floor. You place the foam roller under various parts of your body and continue to roll the foam against your muscles. You’ll slowly feel your muscles loosen their tension and have relief.
The most important thing you can do to recover from a workout is to listen to your body and take the necessary steps to heal. Pushing yourself too hard can result in injury and keep you away from your workout for even longer, so taking the time for proper recovery is key for your overall fitness.
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