Regular exercise is beneficial to your physical and mental health in many ways. It allows you to put multiple muscle groups to work and improves your cardiovascular health. A well-structured workout routine must include rest and a post-workout recovery process.
What is muscle recovery?
Muscle recovery is a process that follows exertion or stress on the muscles. During an intense workout session, you might push your muscles to the point of failure. This process involves temporary muscle fibre damage, but during the post-workout recovery process, the muscle fibres recover and become stronger than before the workout. This process explains how strength training builds muscles.
Muscle recovery is key to building muscles, and that's why you need to schedule recovery time in your workouts. However, overtraining your muscles can inhibit the process needed to facilitate muscle repair. Thus, if you perform intense resistance training, you need to have rest days to give your muscles plenty of time to recover fully.
Here are six tips to include in your workout routine to maximize recovery.
Your body needs plenty of water to transport nutrients to muscle tissues for protein synthesis. When you are well hydrated, your muscles will remove waste more efficiently. You can drink clean water for hydration, but you need to drink electrolytes when working out intensely and sweating profusely. Regular sports drinks will do.
Eat foods with lots of nutrients
Eating the right pre-and post-work food will enhance your muscle recovery process immensely. Foods with high protein content, such as eggs, protein shakes, or salmon, are essential for muscle recovery. If your workout routine involves a lot of aerobics like running and cycling, then carbohydrates may be beneficial to you because they provide the instant energy you need. However, overeating carbs can lead to lactic acid build-up. You must ensure that you eat them in moderation. Consuming protein-rich foods after a workout can aid your recovery and replenish your glycogen store.
Although it is essential to have rest days between workout sessions, you can still do light exercises to help your muscle recover faster. Light exercises such as yoga and stretching are beneficial for muscle recovery. You can take a stroll or any other light physical activity that supports recovery.
Pay attention to what your body is saying
One of the tell-tale signs that your muscles need a recovery day is sore muscles. If you have worked your muscles to the point of failure and exhaustion during intense exercise, you can expect your muscles to be sore the following day. Experts recommend staying out of the gym until the soreness subsides to prevent muscle damage.
Foam rollers are an effective tool for massaging sore muscles and relieving stress and tension in the muscles and the connective tissues. A soft massage will also ensure that you get improved blood flow to your muscles, and it also has a relaxing effect on your body.
Get enough sleep
If you are working out regularly and performing resistance training, you cannot underestimate the importance of sleep. Getting at least a solid seven to eight hours of sleep every night is enough to allow your body to rest and recover speedily.