Those New Year’s resolutions are probably starting to hurt—literally. Whether you’re a gym fanatic, enjoy the occasional run or you’re starting up a routine for 2016, you have experienced the soreness or stiffness after a good workout.
But – instead of simply enduring the aches – consider adding some proven recovery tips to your routine. These pointers will help do away with the discomfort and, in some cases, improve performance at the gym (especially if you haven’t been using this advice up until now).
So what are the best ways to recover after a workout? Here are the top six we have found.
- Stay hydrated. Not only does water flush out toxins from your body, but it also helps prevent dehydration which can amplify soreness. The main question is: how much water should you drink? Prevention has the answer. They say to weigh yourself immediately before and immediately after a workout, and drink 150% of the water weight lost in the process. For example, if you lost 1 pound during your time on the track, then you need to drink 1.5 pounds of water (roughly estimated to 3 cups).
- Eat protein before and after a workout. Exercise builds muscle, but the building of muscle is technically the process of breaking down and rebuilding. A lot of soreness comes from the rebuilding of those muscles, but not enough fuel to do it quickly enough. Protein is the solution. Protein helps rebuild those tears efficiently, and a lack thereof will leave you feeling stiff and pained.
- Rest and nap. BodyBuilding.com has an entire article devoted to the importance of sleep in relation to muscle-building. And it’s a vital component. During REM sleep, the body is able to repair tissues, organs and bones as well as having an effect on muscle growth. It’s easy to squeeze a workout routine into your tight schedule, but have you considered altering the rest of your day? Make sure you are investing at least eight hours of your time in sleep, or you will feel the adverse effects.
- Stretch and enjoy light cardio. “Active recovery” is the term used for exercising to speed up the negative effects of a tough workout, and it involves cycling, jogging or low intensity sports that help get the blood flowing. This helps flush waste by-products of exercise like lactic acid and delivers oxygenated blood to the muscles.
- Get a massage. Fewer athletes are using anti-inflammatory drugs for recovery, and are instead turning to massage as a healthier, productive alternative to reduce post-workout pain while speeding up their recoveries. And for good reasons. Massages act similarly to NSAIDs, but with the benefits of flushing out the waste by-products of exercise (like a round of light cardio) and without the negative effects of slowing down recovery (which NSAIDs do—they only offer temporary pain relief). We referenced these effects in a previous article. Massage is able to combine the best of both worlds – a quick recovery and prolonged healing effect – without the negative side effects.
Don’t let post-workout stiffness slow down your recovery. With these six tips on hand, you’ll be able to enjoy your rest day, and return to the gym ready to progress.
Make a massage part of your gym routine, and you will see improved mobility and focus with a lower risk of injury and shorter recovery time. We want to help you achieve those advantages. With FeelXtra, your massage is scheduled on your terms—at your door, at your office, at your leisure. Schedule with us today.
If you’re looking for a new gym facility in the Orlando area, then we highly recommend Hardcore Fitness Boot Camp voted Winter Park’s Best Fitness Studio in 2016. Hardcore Fitness Boot Camp is a cross-training facility with a hometown, family vibe. They stress the importance of proper nutrition by offering customized diet plans, and they offer the best 1 hour high intensity workouts in town!