Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair, but especially for strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session with your fitness professional or Portland personal trainer. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building. For weight training routines, never work the same muscles groups two days in a row. In addition, if the muscle is really sore (DOMS), then you probably still want to rest it before you exercise that body part or sets of muscles again.
8 Ways To Recover Quickly After Exercise
There are as many methods of recovery as there are athletes. The following are some of the most commonly recommended by the experts, fitness professionals and Portland personal trainer so please check out the information below.
- Replace Fluids. You can lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise. In addition, if you perspired a lot during your workout you will want to replace those vital nutrients (electrolytes).
- 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. This should be a 4:1 ration, which is 4 carbohydrates and 1 protein.
- Stretch. After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover. Don’t rush the stretch, but take your time so it is beneficial.
- Rest. Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Remember, you do not grow and get positive results in the gym or studio, but when you are resting, hanging out with friends, etc.
- 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. Try a relaxing massage, Epsom salt bath, Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna. Just remember to hydrate at the end in order to remove any waste bi products such as lactic acid.
- Have a Massage. Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. You can also try self-massage and Foam Roller Exercises for Easing Tight Muscles and avoid the heavy sports massage price tag.
- 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 (delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by increasing and decreasing the size of the blood vessels it will help rid any waste, as mentioned above.
- How to use contrast water therapy: While taking your post-exercise shower, alternate 2 minutes of hot water with 30 seconds of cold water. Repeat four times with a minute of moderate temperatures between each hot-cold spray. If you happen to have a spa with hot and cold tubs available, you can take a plunge in each for the same time.
Most importantly, you will want to Get High Quality Sleep. While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Remember, when you enter deep sleep, the body magically will repair itself, especially if you are super sore or just tired from an intense workout session with your fitness professional or Portland personal trainer.