Speed Up Recovery Time

by Jackie on August 1, 2015

Spending some quality workout time at the gym can obviously be very beneficial, but you have to allow your body to recover! The risks of overtraining are numerous, as it can undo some of the hard work you put in; making you lethargic, unable to sleep, irritable, and increasing the chance for an injury. Plan for recovery as seriously as you do for workouts.

HydrationHere are a few tips you can use in allowing your body to recover from a solid workout!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! After a workout, it is very important to replace the fluids lost during exercise. Aim to consume at least two liters of water per day, and even more if you have been sweating due to vigorous exercise.

Get Quality Sleep. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, as falling behind in your sleep habits can impair both workout intensity and recovery. Take steps to enhance the quality of your sleep, as investing in a good mattress and pillow often pays off in the long run. Consideration for room temperature, lighting and noise control will help to create the perfect environment for the best sleep.

Take Time to Stretch. Stretching before and after a workout can help facilitate muscle recovery by reducing lactic acid and improving circulation. Yoga and Pilates are perfect to help with this – however, be aware that due to the new stimulus they may actually temporarily impair recovery. Consider introducing these new activities during a scheduled down period.

Eat Right! Seeing exercise progress is as much concerned with eating the right things as it is with what you do in the gym. Make sure that you are eating enough calories to recover and that you have your macronutrients balanced properly. For example, not enough protein in your diet can lead to loss of muscle mass, while eating too few carbohydrates can lead to poor performance and fatigue!

Take an Ice Bath. Many professional athletes take regular ice baths for recovery benefits. Be warned however: ice baths are far from pleasant. But they are great to aid in recovery.

Plan for Rest Days. Factoring in deliberate rest days is essential to any intense training program. Try implementing a down week every 8-12 weeks of intense exercise to allow your body to properly recover. This could be an entire week away from exercise or a time to temporarily reduce weight, intensity or volume. Your body will thank you for it.

However, it is important that you don’t take too much time off, as your body will decondition and you’ll end up with that dreaded muscle ache that lasts for days after each workout section.

Call Up the Masseuse. A good sports massage therapist will be able to help you relieve tension in your muscles, flush toxins from your body and put you in a relaxed state. If possible, aim to receive a massage once a week.

As a general rule, the most important factor leading to a full and thorough recovery is listening to your body! It will usually be clear in its desire for what you need, whether that water, time off, food, or a more rewarding frame of mind to approach your exercise schedule with.

Jackie

Jackie

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I'm a fitness nut. I know what you're thinking, one of these people who has never been fat a day in her life, and can eat whatever she wants. The truth is I struggled with my weight growing up and lived in a household where everything seemed to be fried. Once I got away from home I realized I had the choice to eat and exercise how I wanted. I've gained a lot of insight into working as a personal trainer, and feel I can relate to others that were in my situation. I think if I can do it then you can to, and if you want to start kicking butt then hop on board and lets get started.
Jackie

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