Recovery and rest are essential parts of any strength and conditioning program and most coaches and trainers would argue it’s just as or more important than the lifting itself. Recovery must occur before progress can be made. It’s important for staying injury free, long-term consistent training, and maxing out from time to time.
Recovery is a crucial component of any fitness-related goal. Whether you want to get stronger, faster, or better, you’ll need to weave each of these tips below into your daily recovery plan to ensure that you get the results you want out of your hard work!
You know that the opportunity for muscle growth begins the moment you stop lifting, and that growth can’t happen without proper recovery protocol? Muscles don’t grow in the gym; they grow after. When you lift heavy, muscles suffer microtears and are actually broken down via a process called catabolism. Immediately after you lift, your body begins repairs, but it needs your help. If you want to get the most from each and every workout, you need to prioritize post-workout recovery.
Take these steps to decrease muscle soreness, decrease recovery time, and take your fitness game to the next level.
1.Get Some Shut-Eye
Quality sleep has been proven to be a critical aspect of health over and over again. Sleep is especially important after you exercise because it “resets” your body. Part of this resetting process involves the body’s release of a growth hormone (GH) that rebuilds cells and tissues. Sleep is the prime time for protein synthesis, a crucial step in repairing muscle fibers after they’ve been broken down during exercise.
– Pre-Workout: It has been shown that adding a dose of protein before your workout can preemptively begin the muscle-building process before you even hit the gym.
– Post-Workout: A protein boost after exercising helps to repair muscle damage and also ensures that your body is getting the fuel it requires to repair all day.
– Pre-Bedtime: A midnight snack is not so bad after all. It turns out that before you go to bed is another good time to introduce protein into your system because protein synthesis occurs during this period and aids in overnight recovery.
3.Eat (The Right Foods)
Protein is a given, of course. But there are other foods that can increase your body’s ability to recover. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the inflammatory response post-exercise – meaning less muscles soreness. Water, of course, is also important to replace fluid loss during activity.
4.Hot & Cold
Alternating between hot and cold water when you’re in the shower can help sore muscles both feel and rebuild better. The cold is a natural analgesic which numbs muscle pain and the heat promotes muscle relaxation.
Setting a smart fitness schedule that won’t overtax your muscles in the first place is also a good starting point when considering the steps of your post-workout recovery. Overtraining can affect your health negatively and contribute to overuse injuries such as stress fractures, sprains, and strains among others which is why it’s important to set reasonable goals within your grasp.
[READ: TOP 5 Signs You’re Overtraining]
It may be tempting to stop moving after exercise but it’s a better idea to take a jog or do other cooldowns to help your muscles mend and to get your body back into a resting state. Active recovery immediately after exercise can encourage recovery and reduces muscle lactate levels faster than complete rest
Follow these six tips to make sure you stay sharp.