5 Ways to Get the Best Post-Workout Recovery

5 Ways to Get the Best Post-Workout Recovery

Introducing Amy, a massive fitness enthusiast, who shared with us about a persistent hip pain that made her relook her entire exercise routine. Amy’s routine might seem familiar to many of us. She would run at high speed on the treadmill and leave right away after finishing her run - only to repeat the same process the next day.

That’s when she started to notice a constant, nagging hip pain that didn’t seem to subside over time. In fact, it got worse and was clueless why. How could Amy have prevented this from happening?

Understanding Sore Muscles

Amy’s doctor pointed out that her body wasn't recovering properly after running, thus adding severe strain on her hip joint and muscles every time she went back. Continuous strenuous workouts cause damage to your muscles and immune system. It might slow down the healing of your muscles, which can lead to unnecessary injuries.

When Amy returned to running after a mandated rest period, she made sure to alternate her running days with less intense exercise to give her body enough time to heal.

Proper post-workout recovery helps your body recover from the minor "wear and tear" that happens during exercise. After all, it is during this recovery time that your body becomes stronger.

DOMS

If you change your exercise routine, increase intensity or go back to working out after a while, getting out of bed the next day could be a challenge. This pain experienced is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and is your body's natural reaction to the increased activity. 

Heed your body's signals and incorporate proper post-workout recovery, to get it ready for the next workout.

infographic on how to maximise post-workout recoveryinfographic on how to maximise post-workout recovery

Just as you plan your workouts, you should also plan your post-workout recovery. It ensures you can continue to maintain an active lifestyle without avoidable injuries getting in your way.

While post-workout recovery is a science in itself, we at Kydra want to simplify things for you. Here are five simple yet crucial tips to make sure your body recovers completely.

1. Take baby steps, quite literally.

Active recovery is when you perform a low-intensity exercise after a strenuous workout instead of stopping your activity abruptly. A proper post-workout cool-down is also a big part of active recovery. It is essential to let your heart rate reduce to a standard rate. Cooling down helps minimize muscle soreness, decrease injuries and to reduce stress levels.

A 10-minute slow walk or jog, swimming, and yoga are great active recovery options. 

2. Do you need an excuse to sleep more?

Like active recovery, static (or passive) recovery is also vital for complete post-workout recovery.

After cooling down, you can try elevating your legs for approximately 5-10 minutes to help your heart rate settle down and help to reduce swelling in muscles. You can also try relaxing yoga poses such as Savasana and "happy baby" for complete rest.

Resting also refers to getting at least seven hours of sleep on the day of your workout. Take a day off from high-impact exercise so you can return to your high impact exercise after a day's rest.

Try activities that calm your mind and soul. Remember, mental rest is as important as physical rest.

3. Hydration is totally underrated.

We can't stress enough how critical hydration is for post-workout recovery. Just as much as you hydrate before a workout, keeping your engine fuelled after your exercise is vital.

Hydration lubricates your muscles, making them flexible and prevents soreness. 

While water is the best form of hydration, you can also try iced green tea and coconut water. Limit alcohol, caffeinated and sugary drinks, as they could lead to dehydration and hinder your recovery. 

4. Magnesium, not just a “happy pill”.

You've heard that protein helps in building muscle. But did you know that magnesium aids in post-workout recovery? If your body is low on potassium and magnesium, you’re more likely to experience muscle strains and cramps. Heavy sweating can lead to dehydration which lowers the levels of magnesium in your body.

Magnesium is also known to relax muscles and make you feel relaxed. You may even feel happier as magnesium is known to balance the body's nervous system. 

It's best to get magnesium from food. Include dark leafy green vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts and legumes in your diet. Other magnesium-rich foods to include after a workout are avocados, tofu, fatty fish, spinach and our fav - dark chocolate!

5. Ice it, baby!

An ice pack can be fantastic to soothe sore muscles! The ice will help repair tissue and reduce swelling caused by muscle strain. 

We all know how therapeutic and refreshing a cool shower can be, even more so after a strenuous workout. For severely sore muscles, you can also try a cold water bath. After stepping out of the tub, your muscles begin to warm up, increasing circulation, which helps move fluid and promote muscle relaxation.

Bonus Tip! You're gonna love this one.

Who doesn't love a good massage?

A gentle massage loosens up your muscles to increase oxygen circulation and bring you to complete relaxation. That zen mindset you achieve as a result is a win in our books.

Now that you’ve achieved that nua-maste level of rest and recovery, make a plan to get back to staying active. Here are some articles we think you’d like 😉

Ready to get back on your feet?
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General Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of KYDRA. Any content provided by our writers are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any organization, company, individual and more.