If you want to get the most from each and every workout, you need to prioritize post-workout recovery. Heed these eight tips to maximize recovery, stay on top of your game, and ensure maximum gains.
In the long run, physical exercise is extremely beneficial for our health. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that moderate to intense physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various forms of cancer, and it improves longevity overall.
However, immediately following a workout; particularly in the case of athletic, endurance exercise; the body's immune system is strained. Heavy exercise causes intense physiological stress, which has been linked to a high risk of infections and overall immunodepression.
If you want to get the most from each and every workout, you need to prioritize post-workout recovery. Heed these eight tips to maximize recovery, stay on top of your game, and ensure maximum gains:
1. Spread out your protein intake: You've probably heard that post-workout protein can help your muscles recover from your strength sessions. That's true. But this isn't the only time you need protein to recover. That's why you should space protein intake out evenly throughout your meals, including pre and post, workout snacks. Most athletes need to eat between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight per day, according to Fear. For a 180-pound person, that equals 97 to 131 grams per day.
2. Get more sleep: While the exact relationship between sleep and exercise is still unclear, multiple studies suggest sleep deprivation can have a significant negative effects on performance and recovery. Sleep is also prime time for the body to undergo protein synthesis, so getting extra zzzs after a tough workout might make for stronger muscles and better endurance.
3. Consume carbs: Between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrates every hour during exercise help to support normal immune function. Examples of carbohydrates that could be consumed during exercise include carbohydrate-containing fluids, gels, and bars consisting of different carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose. Alternatively, bananas may also do the job.
4. Stretch: Stretching is a great way to relieve muscular tension and potentially downplay the soreness you experience later. Prolonged stretching with moderate exercise and diet control will reduce cholesterol and significantly reverse hardening of the arteries. Knowing these things, more people should be taking stretching more seriously!
5. Try compression garments: For many athletes, it’s important to quickly regain the energy (and willpower) to run, jump, or throw once again. Recent research suggests wearing compression garments can help decrease the time it takes for muscles to recover between intense bouts of exercise.
6. Take a cold bath: While it might be a scary prospect, research suggests taking a cold, full-body plunge after working out can significantly reduce soreness and inflammation for up to 24 hours after exercise.