There are, as with everything many different views and opinions on the best ways to recover after exercise. Here is a list of 10 of the most commonly used methods of recovery:
- Cool Down. A cool down can help to remove the lactic acid from your muscles, a cool down can also help to reduce muscles stiffness. After exercise rather than stopping completely it is important to perform a low intensity movement (walk or jog) for between 5-10 minutes.
- Replace Fluids. During exercise a lot of fluid is lost, ideally these fluids should be replaced during exercise, obviously you don’t want t have too much fluid intake during exercise so rehydrating yourself after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function.
- Eat Properly. After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.
- Stretch. Gentle stretching after a tough workout is a quick and effective way of helping your muscles recover quicker.
- Rest. When fully committed to an exercise routine some athletes hate the idea of resting and days off but rest is crucial to avoiding injury and enabling the best results in training. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It’s not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.
- Perform Active Recovery. Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.
- Have a Massage. Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax.
- Take an Ice Bath. Some athletes swear by ice baths, ice massage or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues.
- Get Lots of Sleep: During sleep many things happen in your body, optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. Your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair during sleep.
- Avoid Overtraining. One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts. Overtraining can lead to injury.
So trying to adopt many of these methods after exercise will hopefully get rid of all those aches and pains which can be off putting to exercise. Staying fit and healthy is vital to an active lifestyle, so measures to maintain these levels are important.
Good Luck Guys