For a fitness enthusiast, rest and recovery are as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise. One cannot deny the significance of an after-exercise recovery routine for living a healthier lifestyle. It helps in strength building and accelerates athletic performance. If you are into heavy weight training and high-intensity workouts, it is even more crucial for your muscle and tissue repair. After an intense lifting session or a hard run feeling pain associated with sore muscle is pretty common and obvious. So if you want to get into the best possible shape and avoid injuries, start following these 5 strategies which will heal, recover, rebuild, and come back stronger physically and mentally.
- Get Adequate Amount of Sleep
Everyone knows that getting sound sleep is the key to both mental and physical health.
But we often get too busy in our fitness routine that we forget to take proper rest or have a good night's sleep. According to a recent study, lack of sleep slower one’s muscle building process and gradually decreases tolerance to training. The science behind it is, when we sleep, our body induces a state of recovery by actively increasing anabolic hormone concentrations and decreasing catabolic (muscle-wasting) hormone concentrations. This biological process dynamically accelerates muscle building and recovery. On the other hand, inadequate or disrupted sleep negatively influence our body and hamper the course of our muscular recovery.
- Take an Ice Bath
Ice bath is basically a form of cryotherapy which involves taking a 10 to 15-minutes dip up to your chest in very cold water. It is a very common and widely used effective method for fitness recovery. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by the effectiveness of ice bath or ice massage in reducing muscle pain and soreness. Basically when we sit in the chilly water, our blood vessels shrink instantly and they open back up when you get out. This repeated process of constricting and dilating blood vessels flush out metabolic waste in the tissues. Besides, increased blood flow after an ice bath floods our cells with oxygen and nutrients to help our body recover faster from muscle aches.
- Get A Massage
Massage from a professional or self-massage after an intensive workout session allows you to fully rest and relax. You can use a massage gun or massage stick, which will help improve blood circulation and promote relaxation in the muscle. A massage gun is an affordable electric tool that resembles a power drill. The device comes with a selection of attachments and has different settings. The vibrating ball and finger-like tips provide varying firmness and allow you to control the pressure and tremor. Self-myofascial release (SMR) with vibrating massage balls allows you to enter into a state of relaxation and effectively reduce muscle stiffness.
- Keep Yourself Hydrated
While exercising, we generally lose a lot of fluid which can lead to dehydration over time. Dehydration can be one of the biggest threats for an athlete because it reduces performance potential and delays the fitness recovery process. But it can easily be recovered with drinking enough liquid throughout the day. Water and electrolytes support our metabolic function and improve the endurance of athletes. The minimum suggested amount of fluid intake for males is 3-4 Liter per day and 2.5-3 Liter per day for females.
- Use Electronic Muscle Stimulator (EMS)
Electronic Muscle Stimulator ensures the quickest muscle recovery compared to any other methods. Muscle recovery can surely be done with rest and relaxation, but if you want speedier recovery, Electronic Muscle Stimulator (EMS) will be the best option. This small device targets our nerve fibers and sends deep contractions to focused muscle group. In this way, an electronic muscle stimulator trains our body to flush out lactic acid and deliver fresh oxygen to the muscles so they can recover faster than usual. This process has been used to treat Olympic athletes, bodybuilders, and top tier fitness professionals for decades.
Everyone’s body doesn’t function in a similar way. The most important thing in fitness recovery is to understand your body. If you are feeling sore or tired give yourself some recovery time and use some fitness recovery tools to get back on track.