We all know the terrible (and yet somehow rewarding) feeling of not being able to walk the next day after a tough workout because our bodies are so sore. I recently experienced this level of soreness and decided to look into ways to recover the body after a tough workout. Below are some ways to help recover your body so you’re ready for that next workout!
Foam Roll + Stretch!
Foam rolling and stretching are important both before and after a workout. Foam rolling and stretching warms up your body for your workout and cools your body down afterwards. Using a foam roller and making sure to stretch also helps to relax overworked and tense muscles and helps stimulate blood flow. Loosening the muscle fascia after a workout by stretching helps your body recover better after working out and helps reduce soreness.
After a big workout it is important to fuel your body with healthy food to jumpstart your recovery. Eating protein helps recover damaged muscles. Get the Gloss suggests that “eating 0.3 x your bodyweight in kg of protein, so 21g of protein for a 70kg individual, completely activates the pathways that lead to muscular recovery and stops any breakdown caused by exercise.” Some good proteins to eat after a workout are tuna, chicken, or eggs. Carbs are also important in the recovery process. Eating healthy carbs, like a banana, or going with more hardy carbs, like brown rice or pasta are all great options. You can decide whether to go with a healthier or a hardier carb depending on how vigorous your workout was and how hungry you are.
When you workout your body sweats to cool itself down. To replenish the water in our bodies that we lose from sweating we must drink additional water to refrain from getting dehydrated. According to Get the Gloss, “If you’re thirsty, you are already 2-4% dehydrated and 2% dehydration can reduce your physiological output by up to 20%.” So how much water should you be drinking? On days when you have a challenging workout you should be drinking at least 2.5L to replenish your body of all the hard work it’s doing. You should start drinking water 15 minutes before working out and 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes spent working out.
Take Rest Days
Taking a rest day is a crucial part of letting your body recover and grow stronger. Strenuous workouts cause stress on the body and in order to be able to see progress and keep pushing yourself to do more challenging workouts you need to take a time off. Rest days allow your body to go back into balance and prepare for the next workout. Matt Roberts, a celebrity personal trainer says that 2-3 rest days a week is ideal.
Christina Howells, a well known personal trainer says that “When we sleep, we move into what is known as an anabolic phase, which literally means rebuilding.” Sleep allows our body to relax and replenish and allows our muscles have the chance to take a break. The National Foundation of Sleep suggests 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Next time you have a tough workout planned don’t forget to follow these steps and tips so your body can recover quickly and you can avoid being super sore!