Seeing your results from the gym involves more than just working out hard. In fact, some experts argue that your rest and recovery after long hours of training are more important than the actual workout itself.
Pushing your body to the limit is important, but if you can not recover fast enough then how will you ever progress and see real improvement? After all, the ability to consistently show up and work hard is the true key to success.
When you follow proper muscle recovery, you are not just repairing your tissues but also helping your muscles truly get stronger. Did you know that on average it takes at least a day for your muscles to recover to the point before you broke them down in the gym? This means that not only should you just focus on one group of muscles, but you should also really take the necessary steps to ensure all your muscles get the recovery they truly need.
For those wanting to enhance their recovery after long hours of training, we have rounded up the top tips to try. From what to eat and drink to the types of performance and recovery gear to wear, we have rounded up everything you need to try when it comes to enhancing your recovery.
1. Drink A Lot of Water
Staying hydrated is crucial for your recovery. After an intense workout, you have depleted your body of crucial fluids needed to stay functioning and healthy. To speed up your recovery, you should be drinking plenty of water at a consistent rate—meaning both during your workout and long after your workout. If you feel like you are extra dehydrated, you should look into adding hydration supplements into your water as well so your body can also get the electrolytes needed.
2. Eat Healthy Foods
Similar to staying hydrated, another important component in maximizing recovery is being able to get the nutrients that will help you recover in you as soon as possible. The faster your body gets these nutrients, the faster it can step into action. This means you should be eating protein-rich foods and carbs within the hour of your training session coming to an end. Make sure to always have at least a protein bar with you in your gym bag so you always have a go-to for refueling after working out.
3. Wear Recovery Sleeves
If you are doing high-impact training, then you will likely want to wear knee sleeves during and after your training session. The knee sleeves are designed to enhance your recovery and also prevent inflammation and pain from occurring. The compression of the knee sleeves promotes great blood circulation which directly assists with a speedier recovery while also preventing lactic acid buildup.
4. Get Lots of Sleep
Being disciplined with your sleep is just as important as being disciplined with your training. You will want to ensure that you allow your body to get plenty of time to recover through at least seven to eight hours of sleep following your workout. This time is essential for preventing soreness and ensuring you wake up feeling ready to go for another training session.
5. Take Time to Stretch
After your training session, make sure you carve out some time to really let yourself stretch and recover. Even ten minutes of stretching can make a whole world of difference when it comes to your long-term recovery and prevention of injury. So, make sure that every long training session ends with a stretching session.
6. Do Massages and Ice Baths
In addition to stretching, you should also look at getting regular sports recovery massages after long training sessions. These will not only help you enhance your circulation and fully relax but can help you get rid of any knots that may be causing pain. You can also get a foam roller to roll out your muscles on your own at any time too.
Another way to recover is also through an ice bath. Submerging yourself in cold ice can help your body really speed up recovery and also prevent your muscles from getting sore. The trick is to do the ice bath immediately following the intense workout. Some people like to play around with hot and cold baths to really flush out all the lactic acid that had built up during training.
7. Take Days Off
If you are really getting after it in the training sessions, you should ensure that you also give your body proper amounts of time to rest so you do not risk overtraining. This means actually committing to taking one day off a week so your body and brain can both equally recharge.
With so many great ways to recover after a long training session, what tips will you incorporate first?