Muscle Recovery After Exercise
Whether you spend time at the gym or on a sports field, you are probably aware that your body needs to recover after exercise.
Understanding how to help that process along can get you back in action quicker, with less soreness and fewer chances of injury. Here are six tips that can help you reduce the turnaround time between training sessions.
Just like your entire body needs water to perform correctly, so do your muscles. Water helps keep electrolytes balanced and allows your blood to deliver needed oxygen and nutrients to starved muscle tissue. It also flushes out toxins and metabolic waste, whose levels are higher after an intense workout. That makes it especially important to stay hydrated during and after exercise.
On average, you should try to consume about eight glasses of water each day. However, if you are very active or participate in sports or training activities, you will likely need much more to stay hydrated.
You will know if your body is hydrated by what comes out of it. You should expect to sweat during strenuous activity and in hot temperatures. It is how your body cools itself off. If you aren’t at least glistening, you may be experiencing early signs of dehydration. Monitor your urine, too, if you think you may not be drinking enough fluids. It should be pale yellow to clear. Anything else probably means to add some more water. Keep in mind that some water-soluble vitamins can affect urine color, so this may not be a reliable indicator if you take high doses of them.
Sure, your body needs fuel to perform its best. But, it also requires it to repair damage during the recovery process. Increase your protein intake, and make sure you are getting a full range and adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals to support metabolic processes. If you aren’t getting the nutrients you need to allow muscle recovery to happen, consider adding supplements to your diet. Le-Vel Thrive reviews suggest products like theirs may help promote muscle recovery, reduce soreness, and get you back in action sooner.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is vital for your overall health, and it plays a crucial role in muscle recovery. While you are sleeping, your body and brain are hard at work. They are sorting and storing experiences into memories, balancing hormone levels, and attempting to repair any damage that was done during the previous day. That damage includes microtears and strains within your muscles.
On average, adults need about eight hours of sleep each day. If you aren’t getting that, try implementing some strategies to establish a healthy sleep routine. Some suggestions include creating a routine, darkening your sleep space, and avoiding tech devices in the hours immediately before bed.
Break Out the Foam Roller
Foam rollers have become a popular form of myofascial release. They help you break up restriction and knots in tissue, and may help your body rid itself of metabolic waste like lactic acid. Their use has been linked to quicker recovery times, fewer adhesions developing, and improved range of motion.
It can take some time to adjust to the technique and feel of using a foam roller. Look for exercises specifically designed to incorporate a foam roller to help with the recovery process for the best results. If you have any questions, talk to a personal trainer or physical therapist who can give you tips and pointers for using one correctly.
Compression stockings may conjure images of knee-high white medical devices, but athletes have embraced the idea of using pressure to improve circulation and muscle health. Proponents claim that wearing compression sleeves and socks can help increase endurance, lower chances of injury, and speed recovery times.
Sleeves are available for calves, knees, arms, and shoulders. Many runners and cyclists will also wear specially-designed graduated compression socks to help keep blood flowing during prolonged exercise. Make sure you take accurate measurements and wear sleeves that fit snugly without restricting your movement or blood flow.
While you want to allow your body time to rest, muscle recovery is an active process. It happens while you are going about your daily life and routine. Plan for active recovery days that avoid taxing or overworking muscles while still letting you reach fitness and activity goals.
While these strategies can help you speed and improve muscle recovery after exercise, it can only be rushed so far. Remember to allow your body adequate time to heal and get ready for your next big training session or game.