Top Four Tips for Post-Workout Recovery
When it comes to maximizing the results of your workout, nothing is more important than post-workout recovery. Unfortunately, many people don’t take it seriously enough – limiting their potential results.
During exercise, your muscle fibers get torn and damaged from the stress of the workout. Your body then responds to this damage by repairing those muscle fibers with protein. This recovery process is what leads to that valuable muscle growth (and also causes those sore muscles).
However, if you’re not doing your part to set your body up for success, your recovery will take longer and be less effective. This means that those sore muscles will be sorer longer, and your muscles won’t be growing at the rate they could be.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your workouts, post-workout recovery needs to be part of your exercise program. Here are four simple tips to maximize that recovery:
Stretching is a oft-overlooked part of post-workout recovery. While many of us “warm up” before a workout, and engage in light stretching afterwards, you may need to do more. Proper warming up before a workout is important to prepare your body for intensity and avoid injury. Stretching after a workout is equally as important.
Consider stretching part of your workout, not just a post-workout routine. Research the best stretches and start practicing. Don’t be discouraged if stretching is difficult or “hurts”. Just like building muscle, increasing mobility takes time and commitment. Soon enough, however, you’ll start to see how improves mobility from stretching actually increases your strength and endurance.
One alternative method to improve mobility and gain core strength is to do incorporate yoga. Learn more about why yoga is such a great way to stay in shape no matter what your fitness goals are.
Get Proper Sleep
Sleep is one of the best ways for your body to rest and focus on healing itself. This is because deep, high-quality sleep is essential for your body to produce the growth hormones needed for muscle recovery. A 2011 study found that subjects who slept for 8.5 hours per night gained 60% more muscle than those who slept 5.5 hours. These muscle gains are a direct result of increased recovery.
Read here to learn more reasons why sleep is so important for your overall health. We also share tips on how to improve sleep!
Fuel Your Body
After a workout, your body craves carbohydrates for energy, and protein to repair your damaged muscles. Getting these nutrients into your body soon after your workout is necessary for maximum recovery.
Experts recommend eating .14 – .23 grams of protein and .5 – .7 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight, within 30 minutes of completing your workout. A protein/carb shake is the most convenient way to consume these quickly, though regular food is fine too.
Replacing the liquid lost during exercise is important for several reasons. The protein synthesis that rebuilds your muscles relies on water to function. If you’re dehydrated, the entire recovery process slows down. As a result, your muscles don’t get the repair and growth they could.
Water is also necessary to efficiently digest the post-workout nutrition your body needs for fuel. And your blood – the biological foundation of the entire process – needs water to quickly move around the body delivering these nutrients.
Start Living Better!
With proper stretching, a good night’s sleep, well-timed meals, and plenty of water, you’ll set your body up to recover quickly. This means no more having to skip workouts because you’re too sore, or being frustrated by slow or stalled progress. You’ll be back in the gym sooner, with fully-recovered muscles that are prepared for even more growth.!
With the confidence that the work you’re putting in is going to produce the best results, your training will be even more enjoyable and satisfying.
Thank you for reading! Knowledge is power, and learning is key to living a better life.
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