Working out is only half of the equation. You get the real benefits of your training when you recover from your workouts. Here’s 7 tips to speed the process up, so you’re less sore and are ready to train again sooner.
1. Eat protein & carbs - You need nutrients to recover from exercise. After a workout you will need protein to rebuild the muscles, and carbohydrates to replenish the energy you’ve used.
2. Hydrate - If you’re dehydrated, you will not be able to recover from your workout. Of course, exercise will increase the amount of water you need to consume. 8 glasses per day is a standard recommendation to aim for.
3. Stretch off & foam roll - Before jumping in the shower, take 5 minutes to stretch down and foam roll your muscles. This will help release tension and increase blood flow to the muscles you have been working.
4. Take a contrast shower - It might be painful, but it is good for you! The contrast of hot and cold water increases blood flow around the body, carrying more nutrients to aid the recovery process. Switch the temperature from hot to cold and spend 30-60 seconds under each alternatively.
5. Elevate your legs - If you’ve been working your legs, elevate them by laying on your back with your legs on the wall. It stops blood pooling in the limbs and allows better flow, to aid recovery. 2-3 minutes should be sufficient.
6. Walk it off - Same story as above, but this time it increases the circulation too, by being active and keeping the heart rate slightly elevated.
7. Sleep! - Everything above is nice, but you don’t really recover until you sleep. This is when your body has chance to regenerate and grow. A good night’s sleep is the most important thing for your recovery.
Exercise will increase your need for sleep. The harder and more often you train, the harder and longer you will need to sleep.