We all know that feeling the day after working out when your whole body seems stiff and achy. When you just want to cling to the sofa and wait for it to go away. But there are some simple tricks for helping with your post-workout recovery that mean you don’t have to spend the next day shuffling around the house in pain. Here we break down six of these tricks to help you to get rested between your exercise sessions.
If you have sore muscles after working out, it usually means you worked hard. You might be experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is when you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. By consuming protein before and after your workout, you can help to ease DOMS. Protein helps to strengthen and refuel the fibers that have been torn, which helps to power your recovery while building muscle.
From probiotics, omega fish oils, and amino acids, there are dozens of recommended supplements that help with workouts and recovery. Some people like to take top CBD gummies to manage pain and soreness, while others prefer to optimize their immune system for faster recovery by taking vitamin C, vitamin D, and Zinc.
It’s something that we all forget at times, but the post-workout stretch is as crucial as the exercise itself. It is best to stretch when the muscles are still warm, which helps to relieve tension, enhance flexibility, reduce muscle soreness, and increase relaxation and mobility.
If you do want to stretch later in the day or on recovery days, yoga can be a brilliant tool to use. It puts less pressure on your body while engaging all of your muscles and can have further positive impacts to aid anxiety, chronic illnesses, stress, and sleep.
Getting a massage might not always be an option but book an appointment directly after your workout when you do get a chance. Immediate massages are more effective at tissue regeneration. Stimulating the area around the muscle tears brings oxygenated blood to the area and helps to reduce the lactic acid that builds up in muscles. Massages boost blood flow, relieve muscle tension, and are a mood-lifter, as well as helping you to relax.
When you are achy and sore, doing further exercise might be the last thing you want to do. But keeping moving can really help. A gentle exercise like swimming is perfect as the lactic acid is flushed out of your muscles, and you activate the recovery process. Hydrostatic pressure circulates blood flow back to your heart, so you exercise with a lower heart rate when swimming. A study from The International Journal of Sports Medicine even found that athletes who swam on recovery days improved the amount of time they could subsequently work out.
Using a heat pack or submerging yourself in a warm bath or hot tub can help your recovery because heat dilates the blood vessels, promoting blood flow to those sore muscles. The heat brings more oxygen to the area, and so boosts repair. The things to watch out for are making sure that the heat is warm and not hot and that you are sore and not injured. Adding heat to injury will increase inflammation.
By following these six tricks, you will be well on your way to a better post-workout recovery. Whether you are going to try yoga or swimming on your recovery days, take supplements to boost your immune system and manage soreness, or eat more protein before and after exercising, there are many ways to help. The days following your gym sessions no longer need to be spent being stiff and in pain
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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