Recovering from an intense workout quickly will help you get your body ready for ANOTHER intense workout the next day. Following proper post-workout recovery practices will ensure that your body gets the nutrients required to repair muscles, joints, bones, and tissue, restore energy, and replenish burned electrolytes. Here’s how to make your post workout recovery go faster:
Rest and Relax
The most important part of the recovery process is a good night’s sleep. Your body makes most of its repairs overnight, so it’s imperative that you give your body at least 7-8 hours of sleep. However, during the day, you can also take time to relax, rest, and take the strain off your body. Power naps help to replenish lost energy, and you’ll find that reducing stress can help to speed up post-workout recovery. Make relaxation an essential ingredient in your day!
Keep Stress Down
This was mentioned in the previous tip, but it’s important enough to say it twice! Stress can raise your levels of cortisol, a hormone that will interfere with your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH plays a vital role in muscle growth, working alongside testosterone to help you produce new muscle tissue. Overtraining can cause a dip in these hormone levels, as can excessive stress. Finding ways to reduce the stress in your life will ensure that your body is able to produce the hormones required for muscle growth and repair.
We all know that complete proteins are vital for your post-workout recovery. However, protein isn’t the only thing you need to eat. You need some carbs in order to replenish the energy you’ve burned, calcium to repair any damage to your bones, Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation in your joints, potassium and sodium to balance out your electrolytes, and antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress damage. Protein is the most important ingredient on your post-workout menu, but you need to make sure to eat balanced, nutrient-rich meals to get the rest of the micronutrients required.
Instead of hitting the weights on consecutive days, your body needs time to recover from the intense resistance training sessions. Give yourself a day of lighter training, such as mild cardio: walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or rowing. You should also finish your resistance training sessions with some light cardio, as that will help to flush lactic acid from your system and promote better circulation. Aerobic training can speed up post-workout recovery after a heavy weightlifting, CrossFit, or HIIT session.
Work on Your Joints
Your joints are prone to shortening/tightening due to your low activity levels (spending 6+ hours a day sitting down). It’s imperative that you spend time working on them, stretching and using foam rollers to lengthen the joint tissue. Not only will this help you to be more flexible, but you’ll encourage better overall mobility. This will ultimately reduce joint pain and fatigue during training and speed up recovery. Yoga, Pilates, and daily stretching sessions are all excellent options to add to your resistance training, CrossFit, and HIIT workouts. You’ll feel the results every time you move!
The more you train, the more your body adapts to the increased energy demands. People who only train on the weekends or a few days a week may feel exhausted after their training sessions, but daily workouts can help to boost energy production and speed up recovery. You may want to consider shortening your training sessions to fit them in every day, and you’ll see better metabolic function and strength increases overall.