Recovery after a workout is vital for muscle growth and avoiding injuries. Follow these 7 ways to speed up recovery after a workout and you’ll be on your way to bigger, stronger muscles:
1. SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL
Getting enough sleep is one of the first things you should do to speed up recovery after a workout. Sleep deprivation is known to have serious negative effects on our bodies plus this is the time when protein synthesis (the better this goes the more our muscles benefit) is underway. We are all different and while most studies tell us to get at least 7 hours of sleep, you are the best judge of that. You might need 6 or 4 or 9. Your body will tell you how much you need, you just need to pay attention.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DIET
Consuming foods that have good levels of protein before bedtime will speed up recovery. Our bodies don’t receive nutrients during sleep so eating protein before you go to bed will give the body energy to repair our sore muscles during the night. Foods we recommend: cottage cheese, tuna, chicken, salmon, Greek yogurt, eggs, peanut butter.
3. LEARN TO STRETCH
Stretching is vital to the well being of your muscles. You should aim to stretch daily, right before the workout and especially on those pause days. Be consistent and you will recover faster. Full body stretches or at least small exercises like planks or squats should be done.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Drinking water is often taken for granted but this simple action will speed up recovery after a workout. Water will detoxify your body, help you keep hydrated so your whole system functions at peak levels giving you more energy and also help muscles recover faster. Drink plenty of fluids during the day, while you workout and afterwards. And remember, water is king so don’t replace it with tea, coffee, energy drinks and so on.
5. START FOAM ROLLING
Foam rolling is one of the least used ways to recover although this removes knots and imbalances in the muscles. Practice foam rolling after workouts and your muscles will thank you for it.
6. DON’T FORGET THE ICE
Applying an ice-pack to the muscles for about 15-20 minutes will help them recover sooner. If you’ve never tried this you should start doing it after workouts; it’s easy to do and it works very well.
7. HAVE A DAY OFF
Rest days are a must for anyone. You will have to decide how many to take weekly based on how your muscles feel and your performance, but you do need to take them. Some may need 1 rest day, others 4. Nothing is set in stone as there are a lot of factors that can influence this like level of fitness, age, muscles soreness. Make sure you listen to your muscles, they will tell you when/if they need a break.
Now that you know the best ways to recover after a workout it’s time to go do your workout for today (unless you’ve already done it in which case congrats) and then use these ideas for a speedy recovery. Good luck!