A common misconception made by people looking to improve their strength or fitness is that progress is made through exercise alone, however, this could not be further from the case. What you do after the exercise is super important, and can actually have a huge impact on how quickly you are progressing. This is especially true for individuals that are looking to build muscle, and for these individuals, what is the most important is not exercise but your nutrition.
Times after strenuous exercise can always be tough and the recovery from it can be a real hindrance to further progress. All hope is not lost, however, and there are certain things that you can do to make your recovery faster. We have put together this blog in order to tell you three key ways that can help you get back on your feet after a hard workout, as quickly as possible.
1.Replace Lost Fluids
This is extremely important, not only for your recovery times but generally for your health. When we exercise hard, we lose a lot of fluid through or sweat. Water is super important for us as it supports all of our bodily functions and allows us to better receive nutrients. After exercise is when the body is in recovery mode, so it needs all the help we can give it.
2.Rest and Relax
There is only so much exercise you can do in any given time period and exercising too often is a mistake a lot of people make when they start out. What happens when we do strenuous exercise is that the body’s muscle fibers break down, and then grow back stronger through recovery. If we do not allow our body this time to allow fibers to grow back stronger and try and exercise too soon, it will be a waste of time as the potential gains are not being realized because the body is already in recovery mode. Exercising too early after the last session is also going to massively increase your risk of injury.
3. Get Enough Sleep
This is a mistake a lot of people make. Nowadays, we generally work more and sleep less than we did in the past. This is not good for people that do regular, strenuous exercise. When we sleep, our body recovers at a faster rate than when we are awake. This is partly because it is using less energy. If you can, sleep at least 8 hours a night, however, if this is not possible then sleep your normal routine, but add in a couple of 30-minute naps wherever you can throughout the day.
4. Have a Hearty, Protein-Packed Meal
After exercising a lot of us find ourselves very hungry, and there is a simple reason for this. Think of your body like a machine, where food is the fuel. When you are exercising intensely, your body is burning your fuel at an alarming rate. This fuel will need replacing as soon as possible after you have been burning it, in order to allow your body to return to its peak level of performance. You should be careful about what you eat, as some foods are better than others when it comes to fast recovery. Protein-rich foods are absolutely vital, as this is primarily what causes your muscular tissues to grow back faster and stronger.
5. Consider a Massage
Aches and pains after intense, long exercise are absolutely common. Massages can work to combat this soreness by reducing inflammation. It also can reduce recovery time as it promotes cell regeneration. This massage should take place as soon after exercise as possible in order to reap the most benefits, and some studies have seen muscle soreness reduce by as much as 30%, so not only do they feel amazing but they really are beneficial.
There are also many types of massages that can target individual areas and certain types of aches. There is an extensive range of different types of massage chairs and recliners that you should be sure to check out if you want a handy way to speed up your recovery at home. This will save money in the long run also, as buying regular massages will really add up fast.
Working out and regularly exercising should be a part of everyone’s lives. What we must do is ensure that we are resting enough and leaving enough time for us to recover. These simple steps will speed up your recovery time, but we always think time really is the best healer, and we can just support our body to do its thing and mend itself. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If in doubt, just take an extra day off in order to avoid injuring yourself and having to take longer out because of this avoidable hindrance.
Jessica Peters is a freelance writer from Melbourne who blogs about health and fitness. Jessica is an avid traveler and regularly crosses the globe to learn about other cultures while blogging from her laptop.