Recovery after exercise is essential for your muscles and tissues to repair the microtears they sustain during exercise and become stronger. Muscles need anywhere between 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, but you can speed up this process by implementing recovery strategies.
GET YOUR NUTRIENTS
Proper nutrition is essential for recovery. Protein sources are made up of amino acids, which are the building block of cells, tissues, enzymes and hormones. Protein is thus essential for the rebuilding of muscles post-exercise. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for muscles. Consuming carbohydrates during recovery is important for replenishing the body’s glycogen stores. A post-workout protein shake is a quick and easy way to get these essential nutrients in.
The primary purpose of sleep is to induce a state of recovery in the body. Muscle building hormone concentrations increase during sleep, which assists with rebuilding muscles after exercise. Insufficient sleep decreases the activity of these growth hormones and as a result, reduces muscle recovery.
CREATE YOUR OWN CONTRACT TEMPERATURE THERAPY CHAMBER
A great way to soothe achy muscles is to alternate between hot and cold temperatures. When showering, alternate the water between as hot as you can handle for 20 – 30 seconds and then as cold as you can handle for 20 – 30 seconds. The contrasting temperatures create an external pumping of the blood bringing fresh blood and nutrients to the muscles for quicker recovery.
HAVE AN EPSOM SALT BATH
Not only does a hot bath post-workout make you feel relaxed and calm, it also aids with circulation, ridding the muscles of toxins. The hot temperatures from the water pull toxins to the surface of the skin and as the temperatures of the water start to cool down, toxins flow out of the body. Adding Epsom Salts to the bath is especially beneficial in alleviating soreness. Chemically, Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, which in salt form pulls excess water and metabolite build-up away from the injured tissues and in turn reduces swelling.
MASSAGE IT OUT
Evidence shows that massaging muscles reduces the production of cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulates the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cell essential for cell function and repair. The combination of these two things helps the muscles to repair from muscle damage. Try using a massage oil for an extra aromatherapy experience.