If you want to get the most out of your workouts, developing a recovery routine is essential. Some people are not aware of how important this is, or they often neglect it due to a lack of time. However, there are a few simple things you can do after you exercise to make sure your body will gain the maximum benefits of a recovery period. Here is a list of some of our favorite tips:
Cool Down – Allow your heart rate to gradually fall by not abruptly stopping your workout. It is best to lower the intensity and spend at least five minutes slowing down your movements. This pushes the lactic acid out of your muscles, which helps prevent soreness. A cool down also helps eliminate any dizziness from quickly ending an intense workout.
Stay Hydrated – This is probably one of the most well-known tips. We’ve all heard the importance of drinking water, but how much? You can weigh yourself before and after you work out. It’s good to drink about 20 ounces of water for every pound of water weight lost.
Stretch – You should gently stretch within ten minutes of finishing your exercises to prevent your muscles from feeling knotted and sore. Some good stretching aids to consider are the StretchRite strap, Medi-Dyne ProStretch Plus, and RumbleRoller.
Get Proper Nutrition – It’s not enough to just drink water. It’s ideal to eat something within the first hour following your workout. Your body must refuel in order to recover. It’s best to include a little protein and complex carbohydrates in easy to digest foods. If you’re not feeling hungry, try getting your nutrition in liquid form from a smoothie or protein shake.
Rest – This is essential for promoting the repair and recovery process. Muscles need time to rebuild. Don’t overwork the same muscle groups two days in a row when weight training or performing other intense routines. Proper sleep will also aid the recovery period, so be sure you’re getting adequate rest at night.
Get a Massage – A massage will improve circulation and ease muscle soreness. There are also a variety of exercises to perform with a foam roller if you are looking for an easy, less expensive alternative.
The above tips are helpful for anyone, regardless of their fitness level. As always, it’s important to listen to your body to decide what is best for you, but adopting these steps can keep you stronger and ensure you are ready for your next workout.
Check out Unique Fitness Concepts inventory of stretching aids and fitness equipment.