Speeding Up Your Recovery After Exercise : The way you choose to recover after a particularly grueling workout can have a significant impact on your future performance and fitness gains. It’s an essential part of training effectively and can keep your exercise schedule on track. When done right, recovery techniques will allow your body to carry out the kind of tissue and muscle repairs that are vital for building strength.
The problem that some of us have is forgetting to plan ahead and not incorporating recovery into our schedule. The good news is that many effective methods of recovery can be slotted into a busy lifestyle easily.
Take a rest day
The temptation to work out hard every day can be strong, but you’ll recover faster if your routine includes a couple of rest days. Few or no days off from training can inhibit muscle recovery and ultimately limit your progress. On the other hand, having a few quiet days will boost your recovery, so factor in a gentle workout like walking or leisurely bike riding to get the blood pumping without straining your body. This type of moderate yet active recovery can be far more helpful than complete rest.
For every two to three months of intensive training, you can factor in a week of restfulness to let your body become more robust. If you prefer, include individual rest days once a week, but don’t get too used to them. Without regular workouts, you can quickly lose condition, so aim for at least three hour-long intensive sessions each week.
Use compression sleeves during and after a workout
Compression sleeves are a straightforward way of not just working out for longer but for recovering faster from exercise. They are made from a soft, stretchy fabric which applies a subtle level of pressure on the part of the body where they are worn. Only gentle pressure is required to increase oxygen-rich blood flow to tackle the problem of fatigue. A minor increase in blood pressure achieves this effect. The body reacts by flushing the specific area with blood, which in turn fuels tired muscles.
Training with compression-technology sleeves can also be beneficial post-workout because of how compression sleeves guide blood to muscle groups. A heightened flow of oxygenated blood to parts of the body in need of repair can speed up the process of healing and also reduce feelings of soreness. If you already wear compression gear, then leave your sleeves on after a tough session to enhance your recovery and endurance.
Work on getting a good night of sleep
Many of us struggle with getting a solid eight hours of sleep occasionally, but when you often have a wakeful night, it can cause problems for both exercising and recovery. There are ways to tackle the problem, and it’s worth dealing with sooner rather than later because the more you work out, the more valuable your sleep.
The body’s nightly recovery cycle kicks in when we are in non-REM sleep, the deepest sleep stage. During this time, muscles and tissue are repaired thanks to the release of human growth hormone. It is the release of HGH into the bloodstream, which makes non-REM sleep so restorative. It stimulates the development of muscle mass and allows the body to recover more successfully from a challenging session at the gym.
Eat nutritious protein-rich foods
We all know that eating well is key to keeping our bodies in optimal shape, but eating smart after a workout goes a long way to aiding a swift recovery. High-quality whole foods are always the best. Eating them around 15 minutes to one hour after your exercise is ideal. At this point, your muscles are incredibly receptive to protein-rich food sources as they attempt to replace lost proteins. Often the thought of eating after a particularly strenuous training session can be difficult. Still, you can also go for an almond milk smoothie with bananas or other protein-rich fruits if you prefer a drink.
Naturally, you only want to consume the protein your body needs without excess calories. The optimal amount for you will depend on how much you weigh, how long you were working out for, and how hard you pushed yourself. After a casual ten-minute cycle ride or a thirty-minute stroll, you won’t need to replenish your supplies. However, after an intensive exercise class or run, most people will benefit from 15 to 30 grams of protein to speed up their recovery time.
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