So you have been consistently working out and making progress, congratulations! But just remember, muscles don’t grow in the gym; they grow after. Specifically, after you have broken down your muscles and your body enters the recovery process.
Recovery must occur before progress can be made, plain and simple. Recovery helps you stay injury free, consistent, and efficient in your workouts. So what are some ways to help you recover from your workout? Why is workout recovery important?
1. Get Quality Sleep
One of the best things you can do for yourself when it comes to workout recovery is sleep. Not getting enough sleep has many negative effects on your body. It can alter your mood, increase perception of fatigue, change your appetite and cause food cravings, and negatively affect the physiological mechanisms responsible for adaptation from the stresses of training.
Sleep is a major part of your body’s recovery process. After all, he purpose of sleep is to induce a state of recovery in the body. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are a lot more likely to have an inefficient workout or even skip working out all together.
So try to develop a regular sleeping routine where you go to bed at a similar time each night of the week.
2. Get a Massage
Additionally, massages help make the biological process of muscle recovery more efficient which is why it’s such a great technique.
Massages not only help you feel a lot better, but they also help speed up the muscle recovery process.
3. Stay Hydrated
I cannot stress enough how important hydration is, especially when it comes to fitness. Dehydration can reduce performance potential, but also delay the recovery process. Exercise and an increased metabolic rate both increase the body’s need for water and electrolytes.
Drinking water helps fill up the cells and prevent them from falling victim to protein synthesis. Hydration is also important for facilitating digestion, so that the body can receive all of the nutrients that are needed for proper recovery.
So don’t overlook the power of hydration!
4. Rolling Your Muscles
Rolling your muscles is a great way to release tension in your body by removing knots in areas like the legs, arms, and sides. You can do this at home with a specialized foam roller, a medicine ball, or other similar devices that are meant to move easily along the muscles.
There are different kinds of techniques employed for muscle rolling depending on the areas and specific muscles that need to be rolled, so experiment a little and see which method works best for you.
Rolling your muscles helps reduce pain and increase flexibility because you break up tightness and knots that cause stiffness and pain. It helps restore range of motion and eliminate the tightness and pain that often comes with inflammation as a result of intense competitions or training sessions, which is why it’s such a good recovery technique.
Here is an article I wrote recently that explains foam rolling in more detail.
The Workout Recovery Takeaway
All in all, the recovery process is extremely important when it comes to fitness. Restorative exercises like yoga or tai chi also help aid the recovery process, so try implementing those into your routine. Remember to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and roll your muscles to help aid muscle recovery.
Interested to find out how I can help YOU achieve your fitness and fat loss goals while still living your life? Check out my 1 on 1 Custom Coaching Program, which has helped hundreds of busy parents just like you shed pounds and pounds of ugly, oozing bodyfat while still enjoying the foods and beverage that they love…
Author: Chris Friesen
Chris Friesen is a gym owner, personal trainer, online fitness coach and former “fat dad” living on 60 beautiful acres of countryside in rural Canada.
He specializes in helping busy parents shed body fat quickly, WITHOUT becoming gym rats OR giving up the foods they love to eat.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, sitting in his hot tub out in the snow with a glass of bourbon, and yelling at his (many) misbehaving barn cats.