Recover after a strenuous workout!
Working out is a great way to stay in shape, and the release of endorphins makes you feel great! Sometimes, we can over-do-it when working out which can make you feel stiff, sore and sluggish. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to speed up post-workout recovery!
Get plenty of rest.
It's no secret that our bodies need sleep to repair after a long day. Getting adequate sleep allows your body to recover after a strenuous workout, so those cat-naps may not be as beneficial. A full night’s rest allows your muscles to relax, allowing your blood supply to increase. Increased blood supply to your muscles promotes tissue growth, repair, and muscle development.
Rest days are just as important as the days you work out. Working out causes stress on our bodies. Allowing a day or two for rest will give your body more time to recover in between workouts and rebuild muscle. While resting, elevating your legs properly will reduce muscle fatigue and help reduce any swelling that may have occurred. When we don't give our bodies a chance to rebuild, there is an increased risk of pulled muscles or more serious injuries.
Pushing yourself too hard during workouts can cause more harm than good. While it is great to test your limits, plan light workouts every-so-often to give yourself a break. Light workouts, such as yoga or light cardio, are great ways to reduce stress mentally and physically. Including lighter workouts in your routine helps keep you on track, allowing for your body to recover from more strenuous workouts.
Properly hydrate before, during and after your workouts. Staying hydrated promotes digestion, muscle repair and reduces fatigue after a workout. For most people, sticking to water is enough to keep you hydrated. Some individuals who experience over sweating, eat a low-sodium diet or even working out for over an hour may still find themselves exhausted. Some sports drinks offer key electrolytes, sugar, and potassium, that can replenish your body after a hard workout. Although sports drinks can offer some benefits, make sure to read the label. Some sports drinks contain large amounts of sugar and may contain caffeine, which can exacerbate dehydration.
It's no secret that eating a proper diet can help you recover from stressful activity. With all the calories that you have burned, you'll need to replenish your carbohydrates! Carbs provide the fuel your muscles need when you exercise. But not any carbs will do, make sure to look for healthy carbohydrates in whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruits. Lean protein will also help grow and repair your muscles post workout.
Hot & Cold
Using extreme hot and cold temperatures can help treat soreness and reduce inflammation and help loosen tight muscles. Ice packs help dull pain and reduce swelling while heat treatment, such as heating pads, will help relax sore and tight muscles.
When recovering from a strenuous workout it's important to listen to our bodies. Some soreness and lack of energy is expected and can be treated at home. When you give your body enough time to recover, your workouts will become more productive.