One of the most important parts of exercising is the recovery period. Hopefully, after your hard gym session or your long run, you give your body and mind at least one recovery day that is completely free from any exercise. This is especially important if you are new to working out or are starting on your fitness journey again after quite a long break way. All of this well-earned recovery time will give your body plenty of time to get over all of that difficult exercise you’ve just put it through.
In fact, not giving your body a sufficient time to recover could lead to you being prone to injuries. So, as you can see, recovery after exercise is incredibly important! Think your rest days could be improved to help aid recovery? Here’s some great ideas that can help you do just that.
No matter what type of workout or exercise you have been taking part in, it is always necessary to finish your session by cooling down and stretching. You should focus on stretching the body part that has been doing most of the work, but it’s also a good idea to give your body a complete full-body stretch as well. So, for instance, if you have been for a run, you should make sure that you stretch out your legs as well as possible. But it’s also good to give your glutes a little stretch too as these are also working hard during your runs.
Drink A Lot
We all know that it is crucial to drink plenty of water before and during exercising, but were you also aware that it is also necessary to drink plenty after a workout as well? You might be surprised to find out that not many people know that. But it’s true; without enough water after the workout session, your body will find it quite hard to recover as well as it should. You might get very dehydrated and suffer from headaches and cramps. It’s best to keep a steady flow of water going all day, rather than trying to focus on how many glasses you are drinking!
Eat The Right Stuff Straight After Exercise
As well as drinking water, you should also be sure to eat plenty of nutritious food after you have finished exercising. The body’s energy supplies will probably be fairly depleted, so you should work on building them back up. Lots of gym bunnies swear by chocolate milk. This is good because you can add protein powder to it, and there is also lots of protein in the milk. The body will need that nutrient to repair the muscles and get stronger. Yoghurt and banana will work just as well as a post-workout snack. Then you just need to think about your main meal. Ideally, you should eat a meal a couple of hours after your workout, and it should feature plenty of carbs and protein.
Help Your Legs
If you are doing an exercise, such as running, that takes a lot out of your legs, you will need to focus on them during your recovery period so that they can heal in time for your next big workout. As soon as you get home from your workout, you should put some compression socks on. Sock shops like Sockwell Socks sell these as well as other specialist hosiery. These will help the blood flow through the calf and can prevent any cramps from developing in them. You might also want to use a foam roller to massage your legs with. Using these rollers, you will be able to massage your legs without the need of a masseuse. They can help to loosen up any tight muscles and get them well on the road to recovery.
Soak In The Bath
You will no doubt want to jump straight into the shower to get cleaned and freshened up after your mega workout. But not so fast! Rather than taking a quick shower, you should instead have a bath. That then gives you the chance to soak your muscles in warm water! If you are feeling extra brave, you should consider taking an ice bath. This might not sound like the most pleasant way to recover, but trust me, it really will help you in the long run. The first three minutes of being in an ice bath are always the hardest – after that, you will start to acclimatize. After that, you will start to get used to it, and it shouldn’t be too painful to stay in there for around fifteen minutes in total.
Take Gentle Exercise Classes
By now you should know that you shouldn’t exercise on your recovery days. But that is only the case with intense sessions that constitute your usual workouts. There are some forms of exercise that could actually help aid your recovery. Take restorative workouts, such as Yoga and Pilates, for example. These exercises and workouts will mainly focus on working the core muscles. If you love your cardio, you will need to ensure that your core is strong as it will help your body through all the fast-paced jumping and running. Not only that, though, but Yoga and Pilates will also help you relax and promote recovery of the muscles.
Take A Nap
Feeling super sleepy? That’s your body telling you that it needs to sleep! If you know that your workout was super hard and strenuous, then you need to listen to your body and get plenty of rest. So, treat yourself to a midday nap! Sleep has very restorative benefits, and when you wake up you will feel a big difference. You’ll feel a lot more alert and your legs won’t feel quite so heavy anymore. If you find it hard to nap during the day, you can always try aromatherapy as most oils will relax you and help you drop off.
Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about your exercise recovery once you start using these tips!