So you’ve been working out for a little while now, and things seem to be going well, but you can’t help but feel achy and sore for days after you hit the gym. If you ignore post-workout recovery, you’ll end up doing yourself more harm than good. We recently took a look at some of the best foods to eat to help your muscles recover, but today we’re going to broaden the scope a bit. We’ve gathered these tips to help you master effective workout recovery practices to keep you healthy as you pursue your fitness goals. Need some extra help with making your goals a reality? Call Steel Fitness Riverport in Bethlehem to learn about our exercise classes and personal training programs.
We’ve all been there. You’re starting to see results and you’re hitting your stride in your workout regimen. The last thing you want to do is slow down, right? Wrong! The human body, while exceptionally adaptable, still needs rest in order to rebuild itself. The process of working out creates small tears in your muscles, which are then repaired to make them stronger. However, if you don’t give your muscles the opportunity to repair themselves, you risk doing greater damage and causing injury. To avoid this, lay out a plan for your workout schedule. Every three to five weeks, plan for a recovery week. This doesn’t mean you’ll take the whole week off, it just means you’ll do half your normal routine with reduced weight. That will ensure you’re still staying active, while not taxing your body beyond its limits.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t also be planning days where you do get some rest. It is recommended to space out your workouts at least 24–72 hours apart to give your body ample opportunity to heal. This is vital to help stem the effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which can make your muscles feel overly tender and stiff while reducing the range of motion in your joints and muscle flexibility. DOMS can make even an easy workout much more difficult to get through, so even if you don’t want to take a full day off from your exercise, at the very least space out the time between working the same muscle groups to give them a chance to recover while you work on other parts of your body.
-Sleep it Off
One of the best feelings after a great workout is that knowledge that you’re going to get a great night of sleep. In fact, sleeping is one of the most important pieces of an overall fitness puzzle. As you sleep, resting helps rebuild and repair your body, while restoring your energy to help you get back to it the next day. Through your sleep cycle, hormones will be secreted and circulated to help with this recovery process. Studies have shown that without enough sleep, your body will be less able to tolerate your training, put you in a worse mood, and make you feel even more exhausted than you might be. With eight hours of sleep every night, you’ll be rejuvenated enough to keep working your way to your fitness goal.
-Drink More Water
How many times have you heard it? You need to drink more water. You need to stay hydrated. It goes on and on, but the reality is, it’s the truth. Staying well-hydrated helps your body function properly. After all, most of our body is made up of water, so naturally, it should factor prominently into your workout routine and daily life. Make sure you’re drinking enough water to avoid performance issues and recovery problems.
Not too long ago, we posted a blog that discussed the best foods to eat to help your muscles recover. Even beyond that, what you eat plays a massive part in your pursuit of health. Not only does your diet affect how much energy you have to get through your workout and how well you recover, but it also plays a part in how your body responds to your exercise. One of the personal trainers at Steel Fitness Riverport will be more than happy to help you put together a nutrition plan suited to your needs.
-Get the Massage?
Studies show that getting a massage is exceptionally helpful to help your body recover. A good massage can help to reduce stiff muscles, boost your body’s circulation ability, and help you relax. This will help you get to sleep easier and make the next day’s workout feel less like a monumental task. Schedule an appointment with your favorite massage therapist for after your workout to help relieve some of the pain and soreness that can come from exercising.
Working out can be tough and painful, but you can make it a bit easier on yourself with the proper post-workout recovery practices. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you don’t cause an injury and get the most out of your exercise routine. We know it can be tough to know exactly what to do to meet your fitness goals, which is why Steel Fitness Riverport in Bethlehem is here to help. Whether you want the one-on-one attention of a personal trainer or you are looking for the social motivation that comes with a group exercise class, we have what you need to meet your goals. Call us today to learn more!