Exercising regularly is the best way to stay fit and gain muscle mass. But what is equally important if not more is to allow your muscles to recover well. While it is true that a whole lot of fancy supplements will help your muscles grow and gain strength, sticking to the basics is also crucial.
During a workout, your body muscles undergo a whole lot of strenuous stretching and pulling and crunching, which obviously results in some amount of muscle strain. Doing this on a daily basis without giving your muscles time to recover can end up giving you injuries.
Workouts will never give you the desired results if you do not support them with the right nutrition and enough rest. Here are a few tips and tricks to help your body recover after a strenuous workout.
Let your body cool down
Spending a few minutes to allow your heart rate to return to normal, your breathing to regularize and your body to cool down after a heavy workout is very important. You can lie down flat on the floor, or do some simple stretching and let your body relax before you head out.
Massage your body
You can get some simple massagers or even massage your muscles with your hands. Some simple rolls and rubs can go a long way in easing the muscles and sparing you the cramps and spasms. Massages promote improved blood circulation which helps muscle recovery.
Hydrotherapy has been proven to increase blood circulation as well as reduce muscle inflammation. Both these factors are crucial for muscle recovery. While it is best to get into an ice bath after an intense workout, a cold shower can be just as beneficial too.
Pre-workout & post-workout meals
Research has supported the fact that consuming a protein-rich pre-workout meal helps with muscle protein synthesis. One can consume some good protein sources like paneer, tofu or other sources like legumes.
After a workout, the muscle fibres get damaged and need proteins for regeneration and repair. It is important to consume a minimum of 0.5gm/kg body weight of protein in order to get the right nutrition to increase healthy muscle mass.
Non-vegetarians can get their proteins from healthy natural animal sources like eggs, chicken or fish.
Eat a balanced diet
Just looking after what you eat before and after a workout is not enough. It is important to take care of your overall diet and ensure you consume a well-balanced diet. Some simple rules to follow are: avoid fried foods, and avoid foods that are excessively greasy, sweet or salty. Processed foods must be kept down to a minimum.
Consume whole foods like fruits and vegetables and grains. You can include foods like apples, carrots, multigrain flour and such foods that increase your fibre intake as well as are nutritious for the body.
During a workout, muscles use the stored carbs as a first source of energy and so it is important to replenish your body’s energy levels with some healthy carbohydrate sources You can choose from healthy options like sweet potatoes, multigrain bread, rice, etc.
Needless to say, staying hydrated is very crucial for your overall health. Especially after sweating it out during at exercise. One must try and consume at least 2 litres of water and maybe more if you sweat plenty and during summers or if you have spent time out in the heat.
Staying hydrated has several health benefits, and helping muscles to recover after exercise is one of them.
If you feel that just an intake of healthy foods and natural proteins is not enough, you can also try some additional health supplements that give your body the much-required additional nutrition needed for it to grow. Supplements also help your muscles from undergoing damage as it provides a sufficient amount of nutrition backing them.
It is one of the most popular supplements which when combined with intense exercise helps to build muscle mass. Usage of these supplements goes a long way in reducing muscle damage and inflammation after a heavy workout and helps the muscles to recover while replenishing your muscle’s glycogen stores.
It is often noted that a person is unable to get enough proteins from natural diets, especially people following a vegetarian diet. In such cases, protein supplements come handy to complete the protein requirement of the person.
These protein powders can be easily consumed when mixed with milk or water and are available in delicious flavours as well. Most of these protein supplements contain a wide range of amino acids. The two commonest protein supplements are well as collagen powders.
Including heavy workouts and exercises along with dietary nutrition are not the only two things that help with improving your health. It requires an overall lifestyle makeover. It means cleaning up your way of living where you eliminate or reduce all harmful agents and include as many healthy habits as possible.
Rest and Sleep
Getting enough rest and sleep after exercise is essential for recovery. Adequate sleep allows the body to repair and rebuild, reducing muscle soreness and promoting recovery. It’s important to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to support recovery.
Wear compression garments
In the recent past, wearing compression garments has gained popularity. Not only do these garments help improve flexibility and body movements, but also help in hastening muscle recovery.
Recovery is an essential part of any exercise routine. Proper recovery allows the body to repair and rebuild, reducing the risk of injury and promoting muscle growth. Incorporating stretching, hydration, proper nutrition, rest, and sleep, and active recovery into your post-exercise routine can help promote recovery and improve your overall fitness. Remember, taking the time to recover after exercise can help you perform better in your next workout and maintain good health in the long term. By prioritizing recovery, you can make the most out of your workouts and achieve your fitness goals more effectively.
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