Rest and recovery are as essential as the actual workout. It not only impacts your future workouts but also prevents injuries and unnecessary pain. Many individuals only focus on pushing their bodies harder and not on the rest of a workout. They tend to overlook workouts, especially tough ones that cause microscopic damage to muscle cells, along with fluctuation in hormone and enzyme levels, which also results in increased inflammation. And while these changes are mostly good, they need to be given proper time in order to take place in a healthy way.
Many people also opt for supplements to help with recovery, they come with many health benefits and are a convenient way to optimize your results. If you would like to make sure they’re safe to take in, this source will help you to gain information about the ingredients included in such supplements. However, no supplement alone will help you if you do not focus on other aspects of post-workout recovery.
In this article, we lay down our top tips to speed up muscle recovery after a workout and help you maximize your results.
Grab a snack
To improve your physique and fitness levels in a healthy way it is important to keep your body well-fed. Everyone has heard of post-workout meal ideas, what is less known is that having protein before a workout is also beneficial.
When you consume protein before a workout, your muscles can easily synthesize that protein. On the other hand, eating protein after exercising will provide your body the material it needs to repair the muscle fibers that get damaged during a workout.
When you exercise, your body loses lots of fluid, and thus, it is highly suggested to recharge yourself with plenty of water as dehydration might impair your muscle’s ability to repair themselves.
Many bodily functions, like metabolic functions and nutrient transfer, are supported by water in your body, thus it is important that you adequately replace the fluid in your body that is lost by sweating during a workout.
Gentle stretching before or after any workout is a great way to reduce soreness and increase the rate of recovery. It also enhances flexibility and plays a major part in injury prevention.
Experts say that stretching ought to be a part of a well-balanced workout routine and should be given the same importance as strength and cardiovascular training. Many psychological and physiological benefits are also experienced by individuals that focus on stretching regularly.
Finishing a high-intensity workout with a low-intensity workout is known as active recovery. Intensely exercising leads to muscle fatigue which can continue for longer periods and reduce your output during your next workout.
Active recovery aids you by preventing the long term of muscle fatigue, it also helps in reducing lactic acid buildup and muscle tears, increases blood flow to muscles, and removes metabolic waste from the muscles.
Progressive overload is the concept where you increase the intensity of your workout on a regular basis to avoid your body getting adapted to a certain pace. This way you can avoid exhausting your body and work within your limits.
You can use the principle of progressive overload using many ways: adding more weights, reps, or sets, and/or by increasing the frequency and intensity of your training, and reducing the rest time between sets are to name a few.
Sleep is undoubtedly one of the most effective methods for recovering from an intense workout, and while most people usually do this, studies show that the majority are not getting enough hours of sleep.
An article on Healthcanal cited a full night of sleep provides time for anabolic hormones to perform tissue repair work. While sleeping, your body digests carbohydrates from the diet and metabolizes them into glycogen, thus essentially making food to fuel muscle contractions.
Too much exercise and too little sleep leads to overtraining, this not only prevents you from reaching your goals but also increases the risk of an injury.
Ultimately the most helpful tip when it comes to recovery is to listen to your body’s needs and reactions. Moreso because the amount of time and effort it can take to reach optimal muscle recovery varies from person to person. What works for you will not necessarily have the same effect on another individual. However, typically, a light workout may take your muscles somewhere around 24 hours to recover while intense exercise can take up to two to three days or even longer.
Be open to decreasing the intensity or frequency of your workout if you feel unnaturally sore or tired. A lower level of performance during workouts is also a clear sign of your body being driven to exhaustion. On the other hand, if you feel strong and energized after a hard workout, there is no reason to force yourself to go slow.