A lot more people have taken to training over the past year, and some newbies out there may be searching for ways to stop the post-workout pain (refer to DOMS). Exercise is beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing, but if you are not careful you can seriously injure yourself. It is important to give your body time to recover between training sessions. Most people focus so much on how to exercise that they forget to formulate a post-workout regime (which includes rest and nutrition, among other factors). Through this article, we will look at some of the things that you can do to give your body the chance to reset.
Time does indeed heal. Giving your body enough opportunity to relax after workouts will do your muscles and joints wonders. On average, it takes at least a full day for your muscles to recover at a natural pace – sometimes doing nothing is the best course of action. Skipping out on your rest days can leave you feeling fatigued, depressed, and, over time, your performance will be affected.
Part of your relaxation will involve a good night’s sleep, so having a firm mattress that evenly distributes your weight will be essential. A bed in a box is an easy option and will save you the mission of contorting a mattress through your window to the bedroom.
During your good night’s sleep, your body is busy doing wonderful things. For example, it produces Growth Hormone – which is largely responsible for repairing your damaged tissue.
Drink Up and Eat Well
When you train, your body loses fluids through excess sweating. Therefore, a good place to start your recovery is by replacing those lost fluids (which should done pre- peri- and post-workout). The majority of our bodily functions rely on sufficient levels of water, so it is a crucial habit to add to your post-workout regime.
Throughout your training, you will deplete your energy stores. Just like a car needs petrol, you need food to refuel. Getting the right food is important. For the best results, aim to eat a substantial meal high in protein within 60 minutes post-workout – protein promotes muscle regeneration and can reduce muscle pain.
After an intense workout, believe it or not, you can promote recovery by doing some light cardio – like a brisk walk or cycle (usually the day after). This light exercise helps promote improved circulation and will aid waste products transfer from your body, leaving behind the nutrients you need to recover. It also helps with that post-workout pain mentioned earlier.
A method often used by athletes is ice baths, which help to reduce inflammation. It works by constricting your blood vessels so that when you get out, they dilate and flush away the metabolic waste. Alternatively, you can replicate this by taking a shower in cold and then hot water to get similar results.
Head down to your local spa and treat yourself to a much-deserved massage (COVID restrictions allowing). They feel great, allow you to relax, and improve your circulation. If you have particularly tight muscles, then you could always opt for a targeted massage. There are also plenty of devices for massages at home.
Relaxing and healing your body after training is important but giving your mind time to rest is equally vital. Guided meditation can aid you in letting go of any pent-up tension, can release stress, and offer clarity. Being in tune with how the mind works allow athletes to detach from thoughts bouncing around and can be a wonderful strategy to heal both mentally and physically.
As you can see, giving your body time to reset after training is an important step that every avid fitness buff should adopt. You do not need to reinvent the wheel to feel better after a workout, they are simple changes that anyone can make without breaking the bank.