The Top 10 Tips For Exercise Recovery
In order to properly reap the benefits of a good workout regime one must make time for rest and recovery. You would be surprised at how much of an impact your post-exercise recovery routine has on your overall fitness performance and advancements. Rest and recovery helps you to train more effectively. However, contrary to popular belief, several gym users and exercise junkies do not have a proper recovery plan, if any at all.
Post workout recovery plays a vital role in tissue and muscle repair as well as strength building. In order to fully repair and build up muscles, they need to rest for at least twenty four to forty eight hours. If you work out without resting in between your muscle tissue will only breakdown instead of build up. A common rule is to never work the same muscle group, when weight training, two days consecutively. Recovery regimes are as unique as the athlete and can be performed in a variety of ways. Read on below for ten expert tips to get you on track to creating the best exercise recovery regime.
1. Replenish Fluids Lost - A lot of fluid can be lost during an exerting exercise, so it important to replenish your body with water not only during your exercise but after as well. Hydrating post exercise is a simple and easy method to instantly boost your body into recovery mode. Water is extremely vital to your body as it supports all nutrient transfer and metabolic function. Endurance athletes must constantly keep track of their fluid loss and adequately replenish their fluid supply to make up for the hours of sweating their bodies experience daily.
2. Consume Recovery Foods - Exercise depletes your body’s energy storage. Thus, it is essential to refuel your body within 60 minutes post workout. As you refuel, your body begins its recovery process by repairing muscle tissues. Your muscle tissues need to repair in order to gain strength and perform properly. Ideally you should be refueling your muscles with healthy recovery foods such as complex carbohydrates and high quality protein.
3. Quality R&R - Rest and relaxation are two of the best methods to not only recover from sickness or injury but also to repair muscles after intense exercise. It is truly astonishing at how well your body can perform during endurance level workouts when properly taken care of. Allowing your body optimal time to rest, relax, and repair is vital. Quality R&R is one of the easiest ways to allow your body to recover.
4. Stretch - Challenging workouts call for a gentle post-exercise stretch routine. Stretching your muscles after a strenuous workout aids them to recover faster by releasing built up toxins simply and effectively.
5. Active Recovery Routine - Instead of sitting down right after a workout try out an active recovery routine. In active recovery slow and gentle movements are performed to improve your body's circulation which aids in nutrient transfer and transport of waste byproducts. Thus, quickening and enhancing your entire body’s repair and refuel process.
6. Massage - Not only does receiving a massage feel wonderful, it is also extremely beneficial in your body’s recovery process. Massage has the ability to improve your body’s circulation and as it does, it encourages your parasympathetic nervous system to activate which allows your body to enter into full relaxation mode where premium recovery is achieved. If you can not afford a massage, no problem - just give yourself one! Foam rollers are inexpensive and will ease your tight muscles with little to no effort.
7. Ice Baths - Ice baths as well as contrast water therapy and ice massages are well known recovery methods utilized by athletes all across the globe. The coolness of the ice allows muscles to recover quicker, relieve soreness, and prevent injury by repetition of constantly dilating and constricting blood vessels within your muscles which in return flushes out the toxins in your muscle tissues. Contrast Water Therapy can be performed at home during your post workout shower. Start the process by alternating between two minutes of hot water and thirty seconds of extremely cold water. This process should be repeated four times with at least one minute of normal tempted water in between each cycle of hot and cold sprays.
8. Proper Sleep - As you sleep your body produces a hormone known as GH aka the Growth Hormone. Proper production of this hormone is essential, as it is responsible for all muscle tissue repair and growth. Thus making sleep essential for your body’s recovery process, too little sleep can result in lack of GH which can hinder your body from reaching your exercise goals.
9. Visualization - Mental visualization and meditation practice has shown to be effectively beneficial for all athletes. As you spend time practicing mental meditation your mindfulness helps your body to remain calm which not only creates a clear and positive attitude but reduces reactivity and anxiety at the same time. Mediation allows you to become familiar with your mind and its inner workings, so that as you process your daily thoughts you do not become attached to them. Utilizing mediation and mental visualization is a great way to further enhance your body’s recovery process mentally. Mental clarity allows for positive thinking which can enhance your overall workouts.
10. Do Not Over Train - Be smart with your exercise routines, initially. The simplest and easiest way to recovery quicker is to start your exercise plan by designing feasible workouts within your muscle range. Yes, you want to push yourself during your workout routine but you do not want to over exert your muscles to the point of exhaustion. Excessive exercise and improper amounts of rest days will limit your overall progress and sabotage any current recovery efforts.
The most important factor in your exercise recovery regimine is to listen to your body as it responds to your workout routine. As you experience feelings of muscle soreness, fatigue and/or decreased performance, you may need to rethink your optimal recovery time. Your muscles will let you know when they need a break from training. This advice goes visa versa, for example if you are feeling energized and strong the following day after an intense workout then there is no reason to slow it down. The key is to pay attention to your body’s needs. Listen to your body’s warnings and proceed with caution because remember at the end of the day we are only in competition with ourselves, no one else.