Rest and recovery is one of the most important parts of any fitness plan. Your recovery routine has a big impact on your fitness gains and sports performance and allows you to train much more safely.
1 Hydrate You lose a lot of water during exercise and ideally, you should be re-hydrating during the workout, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery
Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who loose large amounts of water during hours of sweating. 2 Prioritize Recovery Foods After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger, and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some protein and carbohydrates. 3 Rest and Relax Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It's not the only thing you can or should do to recover, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do. 4. Stretch your muscles After a difficult workout, consider gentle yoga. This is an easy and fast way to help your muscles recover. Join us for yoga class every Sunday at 9:00 AM. 5. Perform Active Recovery Easy, gentle movement (such as a walk or a bike ride) improves circulation, which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. This helps the muscles repair and refuel faster. 6. Get a Massage Massage feels good and improves circulation while allowing you to fully relax. Elite offers many different styles of body work with our physical therapist. You can also try self-massage and foam roller exercises for easing tight muscles. 7 Take an Ice Bath Some athletes swear by ice baths, ice massage, or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness, and prevent injury. The theory behind this method is that by repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues.
How to Use Contrast Water Therapy While taking your post-exercise shower, alternate 2 minutes of hot water with 30 seconds of cold water. Repeat four times with a minute of moderate temperatures between each hot-cold spray. If you happen to have a spa with hot and cold tubs available, you can take a plunge in each for the same time. 8 Get a Bit More Sleep While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair. 9 Try Visualization Exercises Adding a mental practice to your workout routine can be a huge benefit for any athlete. Spending time practicing mental rehearsal or following a mindfulness meditation program can help process a calm, clear attitude and reduce anxiety and reactivity. Getting familiar with how your mind works, how thoughts can bounce around, and how you don't need to attach to any of them, is a wonderful way for an athlete to recover both mentally and physically.
Additionally, practicing positive self-talk can help change the ongoing dialogue in your head. Consider using both types of mental practice during your recovery days. 10 Avoid Overtraining One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session, or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts. The most important thing you can do to recovery quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore, or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don't have to force yourself to go slow. In most cases, your body will let you know what it needs when it needs it.
Adapted from Verywell Fit - 10 Tips to Speed Recovery After Exercise, By Elizabeth Quinn