How to speed up your recovery after a workout

I personally enjoy weight training such as body building and power lifting.  I started lifting weights in high school and continued going as an adult but I didn’t really know what I was doing up until 2 or 3 years ago.  And it helped that I started hanging around other people who knew what they were doing and some even competed in fitness competitions.

 

But I’m not going to talk to you about my fitness journey today….

Today we’re talking about recovery, whether you’re a swimmer, runner, biker, cross fit or weight lifter recovery is an important part of your healthy lifestyle.

Many people already know that you should take a day during the week to rest and let your body repair but here are some more things during the week that you could be doing.

 

1. Get Some Sleep

While you’re sleeping your body is using that time to clean and repair.  Many times why people complain about being so tired or worn out when they first start working out is they don’t adjust to their new lifestyle which partly is getting enough sleep.  Before I started working out really hard I slept 7 to 8 hours and now I need 8 to 9, heck sometimes even 10!

 

2. Protein Before Bed

I’ve had a few raised eyebrows when I’ve told people this.  Most of use were taught not to eat before you go to bed or your going to gain weight.  Which is correct, depending on what you’re eating.  A little protein shake before bed gives your body the nutrients to build and repair your muscles.  If you don’t not only does your body have a harder time recovering but your body will also start pulling nutrients from other parts of the body including the muscle to try and repair it.  And when that happens your not going to get any stronger or build muscle.

 

3. High Protein in the Morning

Food is fuel and when you’re exercising hard protein is the best.

Here’s why…

Most Americans eat a very high sugar breakfast which does give you energy but it has little to no nutrients and you have a burst of energy for a short period of time then you crash later.  Protein keeps you fuller longer and you don’t need to eat as much of it.

A few protein breakfast options: Protein shake, omelette, or protein pancakes.  And I’m not talking about the protein pancake mix you can get in a box!  I’m talking made from scratch pancakes.

You’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time for that.”

Well I’m about to burst your bubble!

What you need: 1 serving

Banana

2 scoops of vanilla protein powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup water or almond milk (or a cup, not sure I don’t really measure when I make these)

Throw it in the blender to mix it well and BOOM you have pancake mix.

Be sure to cook these on low because since you are using banana in this recipe you don’t want to burn it.

 

And if you have kids this is something you and your children can enjoy.

 

4. Drink Lots of Water

Everyone is different in regards to how much water you should be drinking.  And based on what I have read and consulting with multiple health professionals they recommend half of your body weight in ounces per day minimum. Which to me makes since because a larger percentage of your body is water.

For example I weight 132 pounds.  Half of that is 66.  I need to drink 66 ounces of water a day which would be about 5 bottles of water a day.

I’ve often heard friends say, “Wow that’s a lot of water, I don’t know if I can drink that much!” Girl, I watched you drink a bottle of wine last night in 2 or 3 hours, if you can drink 5 bottles of water in a day!!!

Now what does this mean for your recovery?

Your muscle tissue is made up of 75% water so if your not getting enough of it your muscles are going to be tight and your recovery time is going to be much longer.

If you would like to read more about it check out this article Half Of Your Body Weight In Ounces.

 

5. Cut Back on the Alcohol

This goes back to hydration.  Alcohol dehydrates the body so if you are drinking too much your body is not going to be able to recover.

I really don’t drink but once in a while I’ll have a drink or two and here’s a rule I stick by.

For every glass of wine I need to drink 2 glasses of water to make up for the water I have lost. (this will also help so you don’t have a hangover the next day).

 

6. Schedule a Massage Weekly

I see a lot of people at the gym using foam rollers, which are nice but personally there is nothing better then getting a massage.  Your putting a lot of strain on the body and sometimes it’s good to see a massage therapist.

Massage is your to help increase your circulation, increase your range of motion, breaks up lactic acid, helps prevent injury and helps you sleep.

There have been a few times after a really hard back workout where I’ll have trouble sleeping at night due to my sore muscles. Which is not good because I run my own business and if I don’t have enough sleep I don’t get as much done as I should and my body is not recovering.

 

7. Eat Some Protein Before Your Workout

Are you getting tired of me talking about protein yet?

No, good then lets continue!

Amino acids are the building blocks of tissue, and we consume protein to give our bodies enough to rebuild and maintain muscles damaged during workouts. Having a little protein before working out can trigger our bodies to start muscle synthesis (repairing and building more muscle) throughout and even after hitting the weights.

 

8. Take a Nap

I’m all about the naps! And trust me a 20 minute power nap is not going to ruin your nights sleep.

 

9. Rest Your Muscles

I only work one body part a day which means I do chest, back, legs, shoulders, and arms all on separate days and in that order. There’s not really a one size fits all when it comes to resting your body. I have my workouts set up like this so by the time I come back to the day I work chest my muscles are recovered and ready to go again.  But this is just what works for me.

I know some people who work 2 parts of the body every other day and rest on the others.  Listen to your body and figure out what works for you.

 

10. Eat Foods with Anti-inflammatories

You can eat pineapple, turmeric or ginger root.  I like to take the ginger root and make it into a tea.

Ginger tea: What you need.

Slice up the ginger

Green tea bag

spoon full of honey

Mix it all together with hot water and you have ginger tea.

The reason I like to use fresh ginger is when you are using the pre-made ginger tea it’s more diluted then using the raw ginger and your going to get more out of the raw root.

 

And with that thank you everyone for reading!  I hope you found this information helpful.

Be sure to like, share and leave a comment

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This information was pulled October 8, 2018

Sources:

https://greatist.com/fitness/18-scientifically-proven-ways-speed-recovery

Photo by Anush Gorak from Pexels

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