How to Recover from an Intense Workout

A exhausted man passed out in the grass.

Recovery and rest are essential components of any workout program. Recovery is as important as the workout itself. It’s critical for preventing injury, tissue and muscle repair, replenishing energy, and gaining maximum benefits from the workout. There are various ways to speed up workout recovery and restore your energy after an intense workout.

Hydrate

Exercises cause loss of fluid from the body. This can lead to dehydration which delays the recovery process. After an intense workout, you should drink at least one litre of water to replace the lost fluid and replenish the body. Adequate fluid replacement not only boosts recovery but is also good for overall body health.

Eat Healthily

Taking quality food after an intense workout can go a long way in boosting your recovery. Ensure that you eat a balanced diet with proteins to build muscles and carbohydrates for energy. Include foods that halt inflammation and have anti-oxidation properties such as those with vitamin C, K, 6 and omega 3.

Sleep

Sleep is essential in inducing recovery in the body. It’s during sleep that the body produces hormones for tissue repair and rebuild. During sleep, the blood pressure and heart rate slow down allowing your cardiovascular system to rest. You should be in a position to get quality sleep of 7- 8 hours.

Test a Rest

One suitable way to recover is to simply rest to give your body time to repair and recover. It’s important to factor in deliberate rest days in your workout schedule every week. You can also incorporate easy days with low impact exercises in your workouts where you skip the hard workouts.

Massage

Getting a massage improves circulation, relieves tension in muscles, and helps ease muscle pain. You can get a message from a therapist or self-massage using tools such as foam rollers to make you feel better and induce relaxation in the muscles.

Water Therapy

Water therapy involves alternating 30-60 seconds hot and cold showers. This constricts and dilates blood vessels which in turn helps remove waste products in tissues and aids in recovery. Some athletes also use ice baths to reduce muscle soreness.

Stretch

Gentle stretching after a workout can help improve circulation, reduce soreness and improve range of motion.

Exercise without proper rest and recovery can hinder your fitness goals or lead to injury. The most crucial thing to aid recovery is to listen to your body and its needs.

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