If you’ve been training intensely at the gym, you are most likely guaranteed to experience muscle pain and stiffness. This happens whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just starting out at the gym, this is where post-workout and muscle care becomes essential.
How you care for your body after your training sessions can impact your fitness performance, stamina and even your gains. Recovery after exercise assists in tissue repair and building strength, by resting and recovering in between, your muscles become stronger than they were before. Here’s how you can care for your muscles after training:
One of the most important steps to muscle recovery is replenishing the fluids lost while you were breaking a sweat. In short – drink lots of water! Hydrating can, in-fact, aid in muscle repair and helps regain strength.
It’s not only important to consider drinking water when rehydrating, but also ingesting sufficient electrolytes. Electrolytes contain key minerals that help manage certain hormones and with water regulation. Drinking beverages like coconut water, milk and smoothies are all great options to increase electrolyte intake.
Your lifestyle matters
It’s no surprise that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is beneficial to aiding muscle recovery. Here are some important lifestyle factors that can help you recover quicker:
- When you’ve been exercising intensely, regular sleep helps with muscle recovery. For adults, 7+ hours of sleep is considered a good night’s rest. When you are sleep deprived, inflammation can occur, and the recovery process is stunted. Take the time to rest and relax, your body does the rest!
- When you are training, especially endurance training, it’s important to consider a pre- and post-workout meal plan. What you consume after working out is equally as important as your pre-workout meal. After exercising, some proteins in your muscles become depleted and can even break down. Eating recovery foods with balanced macronutrients, that include protein, carbohydrates, and fats, help the recovery process.
What to avoid
A simple recovery trick is to avoid excessive exercising. As difficult as it may be to fight the urge to jump right back into your next session, the lack of rest days will only result in a prolonged recovery journey.
The time it takes for muscles to recover depends on factors such as your fitness level and the workout intensity. It’s vital to utilise the time to recover to ensure your muscles have efficient time to rest.
Creating a post-workout recovery routine that suits your lifestyle and fitness level will ensure healthy muscle growth as well as energy restoration, allowing you to perform better.
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