We all know our strenuous gym sessions or sporting activities can really take a toll on our muscles. What you do after your work out will determine how your muscles will recover. Here are a few tips for ending your training on the right note.
This one is a no brainer, your body needs the fluids lost during your work out to be replenished. Dehydration can impair the recovery of muscles and working out while dehydrated can be damaging to your muscles.
A lot of people believe that a proper cool down helps remove built up lactic acid, which in turn helps avoid the dreaded DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and stiffness. Others say this has been disproven by studies. Everyone agrees however that you should still cool down after every session. It is important to help lower your heart rate to avoid blood pooling in your lower extremities as a result of your blood vessels being dilated. By slowing your heart rate gradually instead of abruptly stopping you can avoid this and post work out dizziness. Aim for five minutes for cooling down or however long it takes you to lower your heart rate to at least 100-120 bpm. Even if you are doing a strength session cool down with a walk or some dynamic stretches such as walking lunges.
Stretching while your muscles are warmed up can improve your flexibility. The increased flexibility helps you avoid injuries. Don't stretch to the point of pain. New research suggests that stretches should be kept shorter also, no more than five seconds holding each stretch. Try to do each major muscle group.
A protein shake post work out is ideal for providing carbohydrates and amino acids to aid muscle repair and growth. Alternatively, chocolate milk can do the trick, providing protein and carbs. Aim to consume your protein 15-30 minutes after your workout. The increased blood flow to your muscles ensures maximal uptake. Magnesium after work outs also helps aid in muscle recovery.
Adequate sleep is important for not only muscle recovery and repair but also growth. Not getting enough sleep affects your performance and makes you more vulnerable to injuries.
Feeling it after a tough session? Pineapple and cherries have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Munch on these or guzzle some juice to help reduce the swelling and pain.
Get A Massage
For anyone who frequently works out regular massages should be on your agenda. Massages release painful knots and break up scar tissue. Massages can also help reduce swelling and stiffness associated with muscle repair. The stimulation of blood flow from a massage also helps muscle and injury recovery. Some studies show massages can accelerate recovery by up to 50%. Call the Evolve team to book your massage now!