For some people, working out is a way of life, and for others it’s believed to be a slow form of torture…and yet, it’s one which we seem to subject ourselves to on a regular, recurring basis.
That being said, we wholeheartedly suggest you take the lifestyle approach to exercise and physical well-being. After all, the latter option won’t help you sustain the feeling of awesomeness in your life. Let’s be honest, one of the reasons we dislike working out so much can be boiled down to a poor mindset. If you think it is awful, it will never be more than awful, yet if you think of it as the best method to keep feeling your best in life, then you’re absolutely right!
Once you’ve got your mindset in order, and now feeling excited to exercise, the worst thing that can happen usually happens. You wake up the day or two after exercising and you feel sore ALL OVER! The last thing you want to do is move, especially if it means working out again. Even though time in the gym is finite, the time outside of gym (aka recovery time) is all day. If you have a full recovery routine, you’ll see a massive difference in how your body feels during the non-gym days. Of course, different recovery methods work for different types of people and body-types, so experiment and tweak until you’ve found a recovery routine that provides you with a speedy recovery. Less down time, means more time to move your body with purpose. Here’s…
6 Post-Workout Recovery Strategies to Maintain Everyday Awesomeness#1 – Eat Light Protein Before You Go to Bed
This might sound absurd to you, especially if you’re working out primarily to release weight, but getting some protein into your worked up body before you hit the sack can actually make a big difference for your recovery. We speak from experience when we say that ingesting a high-protein snack about half an hour before bed will really help your recovery, not to mention that it can actually boost your metabolism. If at all possible, you should reach for organic, whole food that will help you with regulating your appetite and cravings.
#2 – Get More Sleep (this is essential!)
This is hardly a surprise, seeing how sleep deprivation affects us even when we’re not working out – we’re agitated more easily, we lack focus, we simply can’t get things done as well as we would if we were rested. When you implement regular exercise into your daily routine, then you better expect that you will need much more energy to get everything done and done efficiently. Though it might sound very difficult to do, you should do your best to sleep about eight hours a day, otherwise your body won’t get the time to recover from the workouts, which will often result in ridiculously sore muscles and lack of will to exercise again. Your muscles need rest time to recover and rebuild themselves and not giving them that could easily end up in injuries, fatigue and your whole metabolism will suffer as well. If you can sneak in a power nap a few hours post-workout, you’ll be laughing all the way to the sleep bank – it will do wonders for the recovery process.
#3 – Over-training Is a No-No (under recovered, under rested is a bad thing!)
You’ve started working out and you’re seeing the results, so you want more and you want it fast, but how to know when to stop? It might sound silly that you can go from literally forcing yourself to work out to overdoing it, but trust us, from ample experience, over training can easily happen. One of the best things about exercising is that you get to know your body on a whole new level and you quickly start to understand how you feel and if what you’re doing feels right.
Of course, abs burning and arms shaking is a normal side effect of working your body, but be mindful when you’re pushing it too far. It’s true that our brains give up sooner than our bodies do, however, our bodies have a breaking point as well. There will be days when you’re too tired to do that super demanding workout you were planning and when those days come, be kind to yourself and opt out for some light cardio instead. And there are days when you’re simply lazy and then you should definitely push yourself, just learn how to tell the difference between what you can do and what you think you can do. Logic here is simple, the more you overwork your body, the longer will the recovery period be and that means it will only take longer for you to meet your goals, so pace yourself.
#4 – Eat Some Food After Your Workout
There are many different approaches when it comes to post-workout diet, but we can all agree that eating right after working out is one of the crucial elements for fully recovering from your workouts. Fitness trainers and athletes often drink protein shakes during their workouts, which is a great way to help your muscles to start rebuilding themselves even while you’re still on the move. You can definitely give mid-workout proteins a chance, but what you should certainly focus on are post-workout meals that need to be rich in protein and carbohydrates alike. Eat foods that are rich in carbs and protein alike, so that your body has a balanced intake of all the needed nutrients for a speedy recovery. You can go for beef, chicken and even a yummy yam. If you’re not in the mood for cooking, you can always order healthy meals, but make sure you eat something wholesome and good for you instead of simple fast food treats or gas-station snacks on the go. You deserve to sit down and have a nutritious meal.
#5 – Don’t Forget to Stretch and Roll Out Post-Workout
If you’re on the clock and you need to be done with your workout as soon as possible, the first thing you’ll probably get rid of is post-workout stretching. Nobody starts a workout without a warm up and stretching that comes with it, but many choose to forget how stretching after exercising is a blessing for your body. You get the chance to get your heart rate down, to give your body at least fifteen minutes to get back to its normal rhythm and to stretch and relax your muscles. Regular stretching post-workout can help with reducing some of the lactic acid and start the healing process off, not to mention is a nice, easy way to cool down. PS – use a roller!
#6 – Drink, drink, drink! (water people, hydration is everything!)
Drinking water is always important, but you simply shouldn’t work out without having a bottle of water at your side. Being dehydrated is actually easier than most of us think and often we don’t even realize it until the damage is already done. You will need to drink water before, during and after working out to prevent your body from getting dehydrated. Water runs your body, and the lack of it will only damage the reparation of your muscles and your body simply won’t function as optimally as it would if it were hydrated enough.
Fully recovering from workouts is paramount when you want to make exercising a part of your life on the long run, but it takes time and practice to find your personal groove. What’s most important to remember is that you need to take care of your body all day, every day, because that doesn’t just mean you’ll have great results from your workouts, you’ll also be healthy and full of energy, which at the end of day is all that matters.