If you haven’t exercised for a long time, you may feel stiff, tight, and very sore anything up to a few days after a good workout. It’s no surprise that painful muscles are one the biggest reasons that many people quit a new fitness regime before it’s even started. However, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the effects and avoid the post-workout blues. Let’s take a look at some of your options
Just as your muscles need to be warmed up before you exercise, they should be warmed down after any vigorous activity. It doesn’t take long, but it is essential if you want to reduce the pain in your muscles. A light, very slow jog for a couple of minutes followed by some stretching should suffice. Make sure you stretch all of your muscles, though – even though some may feel fine.
Drink More Water
A hydrated body works better, period. Drink a lot more water than you are used to if you are working out and ensure you stay hydrated. As soon as you start exercising, your body will need extra water and electrolytes. Don’t leave it until you feel thirsty, either. By that stage, you will already be dehydrated. Regular glasses of water throughout the day will help you keep on top of your fluid intake.
Take Recovery Drinks
Research has shown that if you consume certain food types after a workout, you will recover quicker. Ideally, what you have should contain four parts of carbohydrate to one part protein for the best effects. Try something like Ultragen recovery formula or a glass of chocolate milk within fifteen minutes of your workout and it should reduce your muscle pain. In fact, a good recovery drink can actually promote the synthesis of muscle protein.
Take Rest Days
Even if you are fighting fit and healthy, you should have rest days for each of your muscle groups, and at least one day a week off entirely from any exercise. This will give your body the chance to take stock of its situation, and encourages muscle growth and repair. Avoid targeting the same muscles every day – it has no benefit, and you may do yourself more damage.
Get A Better Sleep Routine
While you are awake, your body has a lot to contend with, so it is harder for it to repair itself. So, the more sleep that you get, the easier it will be for those muscle building and repairing activities to take place. The quality of sleep is also important – a bad night’s sleep can have an adverse impact on the anabolic hormones that enable you to heal.
Finally, it’s important to consume the right nutrients that are needed to perform and heal. Protein is great for building muscle, but don’t fall for the ‘no carbs’ routine. Carbohydrates are essential for giving you energy, and without them you won’t be able to train as well as you can.
Do you have any tips to aid recovery after exercise? We’d love to hear them so get in touch and share your knowledge.