Often, we might be killing our workouts but totally neglecting our recovery. Need a reset? Check out these 10 recovery boosters to get your body back to baseline.
After a workout, your body loses a lot of water and nutrients through sweat. Make sure to replenish by drinking plenty of water and electrolytes before, during, and after a workout.
Electrolytes such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium are important minerals to your nervous system and they get used up during muscle contractions. Without replenishing them, you’ll feel depleted.
While you work out, your muscles are literally tearing apart. In the recovery phase, those muscle fibers rebuild to be stronger. You can assist your muscles in this rebuilding process by eating snacks with carbs and protein.
One of the most popular post-workout recovery supplements is BCAAs (branch-chain amino acids). They help with muscle repair while causing less soreness and recovery time.
But, good ol’ protein powder is a tried and true post-workout companion that also does wonders to boost recovery.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is skipping their warm-up. Simply five minutes to getting your muscles warm before a workout not only reduces soreness but decreases your risk of injury. Try some dynamic stretches to get your body moving before training.
Just as important as warming up is cooling down. Allowing your heart rate to resettle and doing some static stretching are some of the best things you can do to boost recovery.
Not only will you experience less soreness, but you’ll also improve flexibility. Some experts even say you’ll sleep better - and sleep is the ultimate recovery boost!
Foam Roll and Stretch
In addition to warming up and cooling down, it’s a good idea to take some time out each week to do deep stretches. You’ll improve your range of motion which will help you make the most of your training.
You might also try a foam roller or self-myofascial massage. Foam rollers release tension in the muscles and fascia surrounding your muscles. It’s said to reduce soreness, speed up recovery, and, in general, just feels really good!
Elevate Your Lower Body
Especially if we train a lot, we may not be giving our lower body the recovery time it needs. Elevating your legs for just 5 to 10 minutes after a workout helps reduce inflammation and swelling, and is also super calming.
Take a Cool Bath
It’s normal for your body to become slightly swollen, inflamed, and sore after particularly intense workouts. If after three days you’re still really tender, try taking a cool bath (or even an ice bath!) to help reduce some lingering inflammation.
Please seek medical attention if you still feel sore after five days.
Don’t Skip Rest Days
Incredibly tempting (we know!), but it’s essential that you don’t skip rest days. On rest days, you can go for a walk or do other low-impact activities. But, it’s absolutely necessary that you give your body time to repair itself.
Last but not least, taking care of your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical body. If you’re body’s too busy responding to the stress signals from your brain, your muscle can’t repair properly.
Using mindfulness techniques, meditation, and practicing self-care should all be a major part of your health and wellness regimen to reduce stress.
Try out these recovery boosters and watch your body come back to life! It’ll definitely improve your training as well.