See #5 on our list (flickr)
Maximising your time at the gym or during your other workout sessions is a must if you want to see the benefits, but you must never overlook your recovery. You need time to rest, and your body needs time to repair itself, especially after an intensive session focussing on specific areas of your body. You can learn more about the benefits of recovery here. To speed up the process, and to get you back into workout sooner than later, it’s important to consider the following methods of recovery.
- Eat something. You should aim to eat something within an hour after the end of your workout to refuel your body and restore your energy levels. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates and high-quality protein are a must, as these will strengthen your body and prepare you for your next workout challenge. Focus on carb-rich fruits such as apples, bananas, and grapefruit, as well as such foods as oatmeal, cereal, and wholemeal bread. You might also consider supplements, such as Nattybol, which contains the ingredient Laxogenin, which is said to both increase your muscle gain and speed up the recovery process.
- Gently stretch your body. Despite your tiredness after a workout, know that stretching is a great way to reduce muscle fatigue and speed up the recovery process. Use some of these examples after your next workout, and you should start to feel the benefits relatively quickly.
- Rest, relax and sleep. While stretching will aid your body, you should then focus on doing very little. Your body will heal by itself, so don’t feel guilty about putting your feet up after you have completed your workout for the day. Pick up a book, watch some Netflix, or do whatever else you would normally do to relax. Then get some sleep. As you get your optimal 7-8 hours of sleep a night, your body will produce the Growth Hormone which is responsible for growing and healing your body tissue. Follow these tips to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
- Use contrast water therapy. When taking your post-workout shower, alternate between hot and cold water to both delay muscle soreness and help your body recover faster. Alternatively, dip in and out of a tub of hot water into a tub filled with icy water. Chilly, but experts say this is one of the best ways to speed up the recovery process, as well as enhancing the healing process for anybody involved in need of pain and injury rehab. Read this article for more on this useful form of therapy.
- Get a massage. A massage relaxes your body and improves your circulation as you rest. While you could enlist your partner or a professional masseur to give you the massage, there are also ways to give yourself a self-massage if assistance is in short supply (or you just don’t want anybody else touching your body).
Finally, remember to pay attention to your body. If aches and pains persist, you may need more recovery time, so don’t rush into a workout as you may do yourself more damage than good. And get medical attention if the recovery process seems to take longer than normal. You may have injured yourself, so a physician or physiotherapist will be able to give you further advice on aiding your recovery.
Let us know what you think, and tell us what you do to aid your recovery after a workout. Take care and thanks for reading!