Muscle recovery is essential after each workout because it effects your fitness gains, sports performance and allows you to train more effectively. Recovery after a training session is crucial for muscle and tissue repair and strength building. Your muscles need approximately anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild. Working the muscles too soon after a workout can lead to tissue breakdown instead of building, this is highly important for those athletes who train up to or more than twice a day.
Below are some helpful muscle recovery tips that could be implemented into your post workout.
1. Replace lost fluids
You should be replacing fluid during exercise, and even more after exercise to boost the recovery process. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body. Through having plenty of water this will improve every bodily function. Fluid replacement is important for endurance athletes who lose significantly large amounts of water during hours of sweating.
2. Eat healthy recovery foods
After depleting your energy stores by exercising you need to refuel your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. Ideally, eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure to include some high-quality protein and carbohydrates.
3. Rest and relax
Time is one of the best ways to recover and your body has amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Through resting and waiting this allows the body to repair and allows the recovery process to happen at a natural pace.
4. Stretch it out
Gentle stretching is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.
5. Perform active recovery
Gentle movement enables circulation to improve which helps to promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body helping the muscles repair and refuel faster.
6. Get a message
Massages allow you to fully relax and improves circulation. Self-massages and foam roller exercises assist in easing tight muscles.
7. Take an ice bath
Ice baths, ice massage or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) help to recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. By repeatedly constricting and dilating blood vessels it helps remove (or flush out) waste products in the tissues.
How to use contrast water therapy: whilst 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.
8. Get more sleep
Whilst sleeping your body produces growth hormones which are largely responsible for tissue growth and repair, therefore optimal sleep is vital for anyone who exercises regularly.
9. Try visualization exercise
Time spent time practicing mental rehearsal or following a mindfulness meditation program can help process a calm, clear attitude, reduce anxiety and reactivity. Practising positive self-talk is a wonderful way for an athlete to recover both mentally and physically.
10. Avoid over training
Excessive exercise and heavy training at every session or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts.
Below are some TQ benefits that may assist with the recovery process:
Triathlon Queensland members receive their first remedial massage with regenX
Triathlon Queensland members can access special rates on MRIs, $50 discount on all services and 3 Shockwave Therapy Sessions for $200 at Red Radiology