How to Maximize Muscle Recovery After a Workout
We all know that working out and eating a healthy diet will improve our physical and mental health. However, it takes some time to get into shape once you decide to change and start to work out at home or go to the gym. But, until then, you must deal with many painful muscle aches. By the way, that is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In fact, people who exercise regularly can experience DOMS when they change their exercise regimen. However, the good news is that you can relieve some of that muscle pain by focusing on proper recovery. So, here are some tips on how to maximize muscle recovery after a workout.
No. 1 Warming up is essential
First, before going into the details of how to maximize muscle recovery after a workout, it’s essential to talk about what you should do before. Whether you exercise at home without equipment or go to the gym, warming up beforehand is critical. This is because warming up will prepare your body for what comes next. Furthermore, a proper warm-up reduces the risk of strains or injury during the workout and can minimize DOMS. By the way, a great way to warm up is through dynamic stretching. For instance, you could make arm and hip circles, squats, or walking lunges.
No. 2 Cooling down is just as important
Second, you should always end your workouts with a cooldown. Once again, this will help prevent injuries and reduce post-workout muscle aches. Now, while for the warm-up, you should focus on dynamic stretching, for the cooldown, you should focus on static stretching. So, you no longer have to put your body in motion. In fact, this is the time to sit still and relax your muscles. For example, you could try overhead triceps stretches, biceps stretches, or seated butterfly stretches.
No. 3 Drink plenty of water
Third, one of the best tips on how to maximize muscle recovery after a workout is to drink plenty of water. In fact, staying hydrated doesn’t just maximize muscle recovery but is also beneficial for your overall health. So, make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after working out, but also throughout the day. Incidentally, you should also take into account the intensity of your workout. Because during intense workouts, you’ll eliminate lots of fluids, and you’ll dehydrate faster.
Note that you should never wait until you’re thirsty because that’s a sign of dehydration. By the way, if you simply forget to drink water, you can always use phone apps to remind you. Also, another trick is to monitor your urine. Indeed, the darker the color, the more dehydrated you are. However, make sure you don’t drink too much alcohol. Because alcohol dehydrates you faster and also interferes with muscle recovery.
No. 4 Get enough sleep
Fourth, one of the best tips for maximizing muscle recovery after a workout is getting quality sleep. In fact, when you sleep, your body relaxes and has time to recover and repair. Also, besides relieving some muscle pain, quality sleep improves your mental and emotional state. That’s one of the main reasons why even the addiction recovery experts at Little Creek Recovery advise people in recovery to engage in physical activities and get plenty of rest. But to ensure you get quality sleep, ditch the screens an hour before bed and pick up a book instead.
No. 5 Pay attention to what you eat
Fifth, physical activities combined with a healthy diet will do wonders for your health. So, if you want to live longer, it’s time to inspect your diet. But that’s not the only benefit. In fact, certain foods help maximize muscle recovery by providing the proper nutrients. For example, you should eat a snack an hour after your workout to get the best results. And, that snack should include protein and carbs. But don’t worry, you don’t need to prepare something very complex and time-consuming. In fact, you can simply eat peanut butter with toast, fruit with yogurt, or drink a healthy smoothie.
No. 6 Try to reduce stress
Easier said than done, right? Well, no matter how hard it may seem, you have to find ways to reduce your stress levels. Firstly, this will improve your physical and mental health. Secondly, stress prevents your body from focusing on muscle recovery. Not to mention that stress also causes muscle tension. And this is the last thing you need! However, many pleasant activities can help you relax. For example, you can try listening to music, reading a book, going for walks, doing yoga or meditation, etc.
No. 7 Schedule a rest day
In fact, working out every day can easily lead to exhaustion. After all, your body and muscles won’t have time to recover. Therefore, it’s essential to schedule a rest day once a week. If your body is still sore after that or you still feel exhausted, you should take an extra rest day. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should lay on your couch all day and do nothing. You can still take a relaxing walk outdoors or do a bit of yoga.
No. 8 When everything fails, try something new
Finally, all the above should help diminish delayed onset muscle soreness. But if you’re still in pain, you can always try new things. For instance, studies show that wearing compression clothes after intense workouts can help with muscle recovery. In fact, compression clothes improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and relieve muscle soreness. Lastly, another solution is to take a cool shower or bath to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery. Just make sure that the water is not freezing.
Congratulations on deciding to start working out! That is an essential step towards living a healthy life. In fact, working out will improve both your physical and mental health. Of course, it’s a bit hard at first because you’re out of shape. But you shouldn’t let that stop you. In fact, DOMS is painful and uncomfortable but manageable. And, as you’ve seen, there are many great tips on how to maximize muscle recovery after a workout. Moreover, as you gradually get back into shape, you’ll experience less and less muscle soreness.