Exercise is an excellent way for us to feel good about ourselves and maintain a healthy body. However, it can leave us feeling sore and tired. So, how do we aid recovery after exercise?
There are several ways to recover from strenuous exercise. Below we outline a few healthy tips to help your body get back in top form.
Most of us already know how beneficial protein is, but did you know that when you eat, it can also have an impact on recovery?
During exercise, we create tiny tears in our muscle tissue, which protein helps to repair. But, during sleep, our bodies are starved of the nutrients we need for reparation. To help your body repair torn muscle fibers overnight, eat a light protein snack just before bed. Then, start your day with a high-protein breakfast to make sure your body is continually working to fix torn muscle tissue.
If you want to recover quickly after exercise, the first thing you need to do is sleep well. A recent study found that participants who had no sleep the previous night were fatigued much sooner. They felt the need to exert more energy to complete the same physical activity they did after a night of full sleep.
According to Andrea Strand, sleep health expert at Savvy Sleeper “Sleep is critical to exercising well. You can make it easier for yourself by investing in the right bed that gives you the support you need for your body type and sleep position.”
Did you know regular naps can help enhance performance and that there may even be a link between getting decent sleep and greater muscle strength?
If you want to recover quickly after exercise, schedule a time for a power nap after a hard workout. This practice will help your body to rest and repair itself—even 30 minutes will be enough to assist your body in its post-exercise recovery. Be sure the nap does not exceed 30 minutes, as it may interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.
An exercise essential, you need to make sure you get plenty of water into your system to help you recover from exercise.
According to the American Council on Exercise, you should drink around eight ounces half an hour before exercise, ten ounces every ten minutes during exercise, and then another eight ounces half an hour after you've finished exercising. That way, your body will be perfectly hydrated to work out and recover.
Massages and Foam Rollers
If you ever feel sore after exercise, it could be that your muscles and fascia (connective tissue) get 'knotted.'
You can help get your body back to its best by rolling out your muscles using a foam roller. This practice not only helps to soothe any pain, but it can also prevent the formation of muscle imbalances.
Research suggests that massage techniques can aid post-workout soreness. So, check for any local venues in your area that can offer you a decent sports massage.
Not always a popular exercise recovery technique, but taking a full-body bath in cold water can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness. This activity is especially beneficial if you've just endured resistance training, such as weight lifting.
Take these tips on board if you want to boost your recovery rates following your workouts.