Your recovery after exercise routine has a big impact on your fitness gains and sports performance and allows you to train much more effectively.
Recovery after exercise is important as it is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown. Here are some tips to get your recovery after exercise plan on track.
Fluid is lost during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more important during hours of sweating.
Eat Healthy Recovery Foods
After exercise, you need to refuel. This is even more important if you are trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of your workout and include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.
Rest and Relax
Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It’s not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.
Stretch It Out
After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.
Perform Active Recovery
Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.
Get a Massage
Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax.
Get a Bit More Sleep
While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.
Try Visualization Exercises
Spending time practicing mental rehearsal or following a mindfulness meditation program can help process a calm, clear attitude and reduce anxiety. Getting familiar with how your mind works, how thoughts can bounce around, and how you don’t need to attach to any of them, is a wonderful way for an athlete to recover both mentally and physically. Practicing positive self-talk can help change the ongoing dialogue in your head.
One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts.
Listen to Your Body for a Faster Recovery
The most important thing you can do to recovery quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs, when it needs it. The problem for many of us is that we don’t listen to those warnings.
Some athletes swear by ice baths to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. This method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues. The thought of plunging into an ice bath is not a pleasant thought. Some say that ice baths are to cryotherapy as a nap is to a full night’s sleep. Cryotherapy has taken ice baths to a whole new level.
Once inside the cryo chamber, your body is exposed to cold temperatures. As the body warms up again, the enriched blood flows back through the body. As a result, whole body cryotherapy is very effective for athletic recovery and muscle repair, reduction of chronic pain and inflammation, and an overall enhancement of health and wellness. It is so effective as an after exercise recovery plan, many professional athletes have invested in their own cryo chamber.