Working out is hard. It takes time and effort that most of us would rather spend on other things. But the benefits are worth it, and once you get into a routine, it becomes easier. The key to success, though, is recovery. Recovery is just as important as the workout itself, and if you don’t take the time to properly recover, you won’t see the results you’re looking for. In this blog post, we will discuss five tips for the best post-workout recovery!
Get Enough Sleep
This is probably the most important tip on the list. When you work out, you’re putting stress on your body, and your muscles need time to repair themselves. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t have the time it needs to properly recover. Sleep is crucial for muscle recovery—aim for at least eight hours a night. If you can’t get eight hours, try to take a nap during the day. Even a 20-minute power nap can make a big difference. Just be sure not to nap too close to bedtime, or you may have trouble falling asleep later on. And if you really want to maximize your results, consider using a sleep tracker like Fitbit to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep.
Eat the Right Foods
You probably already know that you need to eat healthy in order to see results from your workout, but did you know that certain foods can help with muscle recovery? Protein is essential for muscle repair, so be sure to include plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet. Good sources of protein include lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy. You should also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they provide the antioxidants and vitamins your body needs to recover from a workout. And don’t forget about carbs! Carbohydrates are important for replenishing glycogen stores that are depleted during exercise. Good sources of carbs include whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fruits. Just be sure to eat in moderation and avoid processed foods, as they can hinder your recovery. If you’re not sure what to eat, there are plenty of resources available online, including this list of post-workout recovery foods from Healthline.
Drink Plenty of Water
It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout. Drinking water helps your body flush out toxins and prevents cramping and other problems. Most experts recommend drinking eight ounces of water for every 20 minutes of exercise. So if you worked out for 40 minutes, you should drink at least 16 ounces of water when you’re done. If you’re sweating a lot or exercising in a hot environment, you may need to drink even more water to prevent dehydration. And be sure to avoid sugary sports drinks, as they can actually cause dehydration and will not help with recovery. Water is the best beverage for recovery—just be sure to drink enough of it!
Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that can help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery. The pressure from the foam roller helps to release knots and tightness in your muscles, which can speed up the recovery process. Foam rolling is best done after a workout when your muscles are warm and pliable. Start with slow, gentle rolls and progress to more aggressive ones as needed. And be sure to focus on any areas that feel especially tight or sore. Regular foam rolling can help prevent injuries and keep your muscles healthy. If you don’t have a foam roller, you can use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball instead. Just place it under the affected muscle and roll back and forth until the tension is released. Foam rolling is a simple and effective way to improve recovery—just be sure to do it regularly.
If you’re dealing with an injury, kinesiology tape can be a helpful tool for recovery. Kinesiology tape is a type of elastic tape that is applied to the skin to relieve pain and promote healing. When applied correctly, kinesiology tape can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and speed up the healing process. Workout tape to prevent doms can also be helpful in preventing injuries. If you’re using kinesiology tape for the first time, be sure to consult with a trained professional to ensure it is applied correctly. Improper application can actually make your condition worse. Kinesiology tape is a helpful tool for recovery—just be sure to use it properly.
These are just a few tips that can help you recover from your workout more effectively. Remember, recovery is just as important as the workout itself, so don’t neglect it!