The Five Best Ways To Recover From Your Workout
Fitness enthusiast, Loren Kennedy gives expert tips on the best ways to recover after any workout.
There is no feeling quite like walking away after completing a fantastic workout. No matter your workout preference, whether you’ve just wrapped a group fitness class, a round of Pilates, or hypertrophy training; knowing you’ve earned that post workout euphoria is magic. You’ve pushed your body to the brink of exhaustion and now it’s time to recover so you’re ready for the next one. These changes will help you do just that:
The first step in recovery should occur post strenuous workout, but prior to exiting your chosen fitness space. We’re talking about stretching, people. Though the definition lacks allure, the benefits are endless. Stretching is a phenomenal way to relieve muscular tension and in turn downplays soreness. This is crucial at all levels of fitness, but essential for beginners as the body is still adapting to the rigors of a regimen. So post workout, spend at least fifteen minutes stretching, your body will thank you.
Heat therapy is another underutilized tool to aid in recovery. Scientific studies show that heat increases circulation and blood flow, which in turn increases the delivery of nutrients to muscle cells. Heat can also help deter joint pain and stiffness, as well as muscle spasms. So spending a few minutes in a sauna or steam room won’t hurt, those rooms aren’t for nothing.
Immediately following the physical part, hunger ensues and it’s time to re-fuel. There’s a thirty-to-sixty-minute window after a workout, when the body needs nutrients most. During this period the body is eager to rebuild it’s glycogen stores, as well as rebuild and regrow those muscle proteins. These stores need restocked. For men, I recommend getting in forty-five to fifty grams of protein and at least thirty-five grams of carbs immediately once the workout has concluded. Sources of these protein and carbs should be clean and with minimal sugar. Good sources for clean and organic carbs are rice, oatmeal, granola, or quinoa. For protein, a fast digesting natural whey or plant based protein is an easy and quick source for the goods!
You have to eat – well. Essential foods to eat post work out aid in recovery are rich in potassium. Bananas, Cantaloupe, Sweet Potato, Cooked Spinach & Broccoli are all foods full of this magical ‘cramp fighting’ element. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are also a wise choice for pro joint health (salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, avocado).
Sometimes when you snooze you win. We all have plenty of sources for chronic stress, and the only kind we really need in fitness is acute stress. Acute stress is the kind we create from those awesome, shirt drenched kind of workouts. An easy way to reduce chronic stress is by getting a good night’s rest. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep (sometimes more if you can) gives the body the time it needs properly restore and recover.