How to Recover Post-Workout
Feeling sluggish, sore for days on end, and lacking energy after a week full of workouts?
You're working hard, but you aren't feelingthe benefits of your hard work in the gym. How is this even possible?
Being in the gym five days a week was supposed to bring a whole new kind of vitality to your daily routine, however you might that find without proper post-workout recovery that fatigue and soreness are taking the place of your newfound gains you were expecting.
Let's get a little Bill Nye for a brief second––every single time you workout your muscles form minuscule tears that make the muscle stronger when they grow back together. To put all of this in perspective, think about every movement you make during Bootcamp, as well as Kickboxing and all of the tears your muscles are forming to make them so much stronger.
So, if we want strong muscles we have to help the rate in which our muscles repair, which we can do by focusing on how we helpour bodies recover.
This means drinking enough water, refueling your body with the right food, getting a solid amount of sleep, and keeping stress to a minimum. Simple enough, right?
Maybe not so much. These are the core things you should be doing to maximize your body's recovery:
Sleep––the most basic of human needs and unfortunately the most abused. As it turns out, 35% of people featured in a survey of around 440k Americans reported getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night.
There are some things that copious amounts of caffeine and an eye mask just can't fix and the amount your body recovers in your sleep is definitely in the top 5––along with the bedhead and the overall hit your mood takes due to sleep deprivation.
Studies have shown that during your most important sleep cycle (REM––Rapid Eye Movement) that your body restores organs and tissue repair. While we sleep, a growth hormone is released and your muscles are able to repair and get stronger, therefore enabling the gains to really come through. All of these important factors makes it crucial for you to get that solid 8-10 hours of sleep after a workout so that you don't wake up deathly fatigued and sore.
That old saying about results being 80% nutrition and 20% working out without doubt has some sense to it. This means that what you are putting into your body is either helping you or hurting you. Kind of a big deal, right?
After you finish a workout, your muscles are anxiously waiting protein and healthy carbohydrates to trigger the repair process. When you starve your body's vital necessities post-workout, you are crippling the repair process and causing your next few days to be inevitably sore.
Protein and healthy carbohydrates are truly your best friends after that hard bootcamp class you just took, which is why some opt for a smoothie post-workout at our FIT Bar. That protein shake helps to repair muscle tissue and restore glycogen storages with fresh fruit, giving your body exactly what it needs to properly recover.
Drinking an adequate amount of water is known to produce clearer skin, more energy, and above all helps your muscles to recover faster. It makes sense considering around 60% of your body is water and is necessary for survival.
So, how much water should you really be drinking? A classic rule of thumb says that you should be drinking about half an ounce to an ounce for every pound that you weigh. So if you weigh 135 lbs, you should be drinking around 67 to 135 ounces per day. Now it's easy to understand why you spot body builders carrying around their gallon water bottles, drinking your body in ounces isn't always easy but it is sure to aid in your recovery.
Keeping stress to a minimum is necessary in all aspects of your health. Working out once a day is certainly a proven way to combat stress, but psychological stress is sure to effect your nervous system and curb muscle recovery.
The kind of stress we are talking about here is chronic psychological stress. The kind that can come from your job, relationships, and the curveballs life tends to throw at the least expecting times. Keeping your life balanced is key to helping your body recover and staying healthy in and out of the gym.
5. Stretching, Mobility
It is beyond tempting to leave right after your workout to go eat dinner and take a hot shower, however just a few minutes of stretching could save you some pain in the future. Time to grab a foam roller and roll it out or reach down and stretch out those hamstrings.
Let's break it down; After a workout, your muscles are left in a shortened state and filled with lactic acid.
Stretching out your tight muscles after a workout helps to strengthen your posture and improve circulation after lactic acid build-up. Don't panic––this is all completely normal! Can you believe how hard your body works just to keep you alive and well?
Next time you're feeling sore after a workout, run through this checklist and make sure you are setting your body up for success when it comes to post-workout recovery.