You spend your days at the gym. You hit every machine and every position. You feel the power coursing through your veins and the fatigue, too. You’re not Superman and you shouldn’t be acting like you’re indestructible. You have to give yourself a chance to rest.
Recovering is as important as the workout. You can’t grow without a rest. After all those sessions at the gym, your muscles have been pulled, twisted, and torn down in every angle. Now, they need a chance to recover so they can grow. The recovering process allows your body to heal. The more it learns to heal better and quicker, the more strength you’ll have to push yourself.
Working out is not all about the movements. It also depends on how you rest and how long is that rest period. Knowing how to recover properly after a good workout will maximize your results. Here’s a list of tricks that will help you build a proper recovery session, one as strong as your workout sessions.
Skipping the stretches is always tempting, but don’t give in. Stretching after a workout is as important as stretching after. While dynamic stretches help you gather strength and get your energy pumping before you start the intense workout, static stretches help you ease down properly after. They promote flexibility and muscle pliability. There are many exercises that you will miss out on if you aren’t flexible enough.
Post workout stretches also reduces the risks of injuries and lessens the soreness that will follow. It’s important to plan them into your schedule and allow plenty of time. A good post workout lasts at least 15 minutes. It’s plenty of times to reduce stiffness in all your muscles and allow your body to cool down enough.
Have an active recovery
Just because you’re recovering doesn’t mean you can slack off on your plans. It’s not a lazy period where you can just sit on the couch or sleep all day. Instead, try to have an active recovery. An active recovery will help reduce soreness in your muscles. A light jog in the afternoon or walking to the store will keep the blood flowing. Blood flow is necessary to heal and recover energy in your muscles.
During your post workout, you shouldn’t choose the easy way on anything. Your recovery days simply mean you’re not pushing yourself to the limits like you did at the gym. There’s no need for intense hours of energy burning. Rather, spend that time to build up your energy for the next workout days.
Eat carbs, protein, and potassium-rich foods
Now that you’re out of the gym, you have more time to plan your diet and eat better. Your diet has an equal role in living your healthiest life. That’s why you should take time to select the foods that you eat. During your recovery is the time to load up on carbs, protein and potassium. Right after your workout, you should have small filling snack ready, usually a protein bad. It will keep you long enough to prepare a well-balanced full course meal for you to eat.
Carbs and potassium are nutrients that build muscle energy. It’s necessary to eat a good amount of them quickly after each workout. That’s when your body is using up all its energy to try to heal the muscles. The protein is there to rebuild muscle tissue and provide building blocks for the cells. You should stay in the low levels of fat to encourage faster nutrient absorption.
You lose a lot of water during your workout. Nearly one liter of water is lost for every 1,000 calories that are burned. Also, your metabolism is working extra hard to keep up with the amount of energy you’re losing in a short amount of time. It needs water and electrolytes to keep up. Staying hydrated helps you to recover quicker because your body is able to keep up with you. Dehydration will reduce your performance potential and get you tired faster.
You have to push the limit of eight glasses of water per day. Instead, drink according to how much you worked. You may need a minimum of four liters of water every day you’re at the gym. You can also drink energy drinks like Gatorade that are filled with electrolytes that you need.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleeping is easy, so you’d think more people would overdo it. However, many people end up not get enough sleep every night. That may be due to distractions like phones, TVs, and light. They will bother you and keep you awake longer than you should. You need to get plenty of sleep every night for your body to recover properly. During sleep, your body releases hormones that help recover and increase energy. It also increases mood and motivation to strike higher.
Every night, you should push for at least eight hours of sleep. If you do more activities during the day like your intense workout sessions, you may need about nine hours. You should take power naps during the day if you can. To be able to get the amount of sleep you need, schedule it in. Remain consistent and go to bed at the same time every night. Teach your body to recognize your bedtime. It will not only promote a better recover, but also excellent overall health.
Don’t overdo it
There’s a limit to everything even your body. Working out is all about pushing the limits, but there’s also a limit to how much you should be pushing your limits. You shouldn’t be pushing yourself to the point where everything hurts for weeks. It will revert to your progress. Instead, push a little harder every day, gradually. Just try to do slighter more than last week. Your progress will come slowly but surely. There’s no point of overdoing it.
If you push yourself too hard, you will destroy your recover. You will spend more time recovering, and it will be harder for your body. It’s not a good thing for the body to use more energy to recover than to workout. If that’s the case, there will be significantly less muscle building.
Plan your recovery time and strategy as carefully as you planned your workout. It will provide better results than spending weeks at the gym with no rest.