Recovery is almost as important as your actual workout. If you aren’t recovering from today’s workout how are you going to be ready to perform tomorrow? The right answer is you won’t be. Your body needs certain things pre-, post and hours after a good sweat session to get back in working order. Here are five tips from Team ECRP that will help you feel great after today’s workout and fresh for tomorrow’s.
Eat right away. Workouts burn through energy reserves. If you want your body to build those stores back up, you’re going to have to feed it. Proper nutrition after a session will help your tissues repair. and muscles clean out any waste. Post workout fueling should include complex carbohydrates, hydration and quality protein and occur within 30 minutes of a session.
Drink up. Drinking fluids is important during a workout, especially for endurance athletes, but you’ll need even more when you’re finished. Luckily, good old fashioned water is all most people need to help their muscles start the repair process. Water helps the body get started with recovery by supporting all metabolic functions, most importantly flushing out the things that build up while you exercise and allowing much needed blood and oxygen back into torn up muscles.
Keep moving. Beating your body up for an hour during a workout then slamming it to a stop when you fall down on the ground is asking for trouble. It’s like crashing into a brick wall. Cooling down properly is paramount to starting the recovery process. Gentle movement, like walking, stretching or light yoga, is known as active recovery and are great choices. Staying in motion promotes circulation, moving nutrients into needy muscles and waste from your workout out. More nutrients and less waste lead to faster repair, less soreness and a better next session.
Relax. Breathe deeply and go over your workout in your head. If it was good, take note but if it wasn’t, learn something and move on. While you recap, foam roll, stretch, or sit in an ice bath if you’re really in need. If you’re lucky, you might even get a massage. Like performing active recovery, massaging muscles promotes circulation and tissue repair. An additional bonus: you can do this while you eat that high quality post workout food!
Go to bed. Sleep is the best time to recover. When you’re snoozing the body produces essential Growth Hormone to repair and build muscles. Getting plenty of quality sleep can lead to stronger muscles, better performance and more endurance. You’ll also wake up with a more effectively working brain, in a better mood and a happy body. In contrast, sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to decreases in performance, increases in recovery times and general grumpiness.
Use these tips to take your recovery plan to the next level and see the results you want sooner.