Exercise Recovery – 10 Ways to Speed Recovery
Exercise recovery is an essential part of any workout regimen. Your after exercise recovery routine has a big impact on your fitness gains and sports performance and allows you to train more effectively. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the importance of a recovery plan and as a result, it’s powerful benefits get over looked. Recovery is essential to allow muscle and tissue to repair and build strength. Heavy weight training will make your rest time even more critical. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to rebuild. Weight training routine specifics are covered in another post.
Here are 10 common tips to get your exercise recovery plan started.
1. Cool Down
Cooling down means to slow down instead of completely stopping after an exercise. Moving at a low intensity for 5 to 10 minutes after a workout helps remove lactic acid from your muscles and may help reduce muscle stiffness from developing. Cooling down is more helpful when you have another exercise session later the same day.
2. Replace Fluids
You will lose a large amount of fluid during exercise and you should be replacing it during exercise. Your body is 75% water and losing too much will cause dehydration and poor blood circulation to your brain and organs. Drinking after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports your metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body. The longer you exercise the more fluid you will lose and more important the fluid replacement will be.
3. Eat Properly
Your body will burn its energy stores during exercise which means you need to refuel it if you expect your body to recover and repair the damage to muscles and tissues. It is even more important if you are exercising daily or trying to build muscle. You should try to eat within 30 – 45 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and carbohydrates. Specifics on pre and post nutrition is described in another post.
Light stretching helps to keep blood flowing through your muscles and allow your circulation to get nutrients to your muscles and remove the build up of lactic acid and carbon dioxide. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.
One of the best exercise recovery methods is rest. It aids your body’s ability to recover from just about any illness or injury as well as after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself, all you need to do is allow it some time.
6. Active Exercise Recovery
Cool down occurs immediately after exercise. Active recovery happens the next day. Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product removal throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.
Massage improves circulation and helps your body to relax. You can try self-massage using Foam Roller Exercises to ease tight muscles and avoid the heavy sports massage price tag.
8. Ice Therapy
Some athletes swear by ice baths or ice massage. The science behind it indicates that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps flush out waste products in the tissues.
Sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.
10. Avoid Over Training
Design a smart workout routine. Recovery from excessive exercise or heavy training at every session will be more difficult and will result it fewer gains in the long run.
One of the easiest ways to develop an exercise recovery plan is to listen to your body. If you are feeling strong, workout normally. If you are feeling really tired and lack energy, don’t over do your training that day. Let your body tell you when you are ready to train hard again.