If you find that you’ve plateaued in your workouts, and cannot lift more weights or shave another minute off your best time, you may not be letting your muscles recover after a workout. Proper recovery is essential to strength and stamina building. We’ve rounded up the best ways to recover from a workout faster so you can up your game.
Best Ways To Recover Faster From a Workout
- Don’t forget the cool down - If you worked out hard and have to rush home, you’re missing out on a time-tested recovery tool. Your cool down and stretching period can not only stretch and relax those muscles you just worked, they can prevent all of that tightening that goes along with stiffness. To recover from a workout faster, plan to leave at least 20 minutes to stretch at the gym before you head home.
- Eat and drink the right stuff - Hydration is key to recovering from a workout, and dehydration makes stiffness more painful. Drink half your weight (in ounces) of water every day as a general guideline. Before you work out, eat a light meal or snack that offers complex carbs and lean protein. Try a protein shake or a slice of whole-grain bread spread with almond butter. After a workout, eat a healthy snack that offers the right balance of carbs and protein (1:2) to build back strength. Think hummus with whole wheat pita or a grilled chicken wrap. Pre-workout snacks can also aid recovery by promoting all of that tissue-rebuilding that prevents sore muscles after a workout.
- Treat your body right – After a hard workout, you often sleep really well – which is great for muscle recovery and can even give you more energy during the day. Along with getting enough rest, partake in light activities like walking or swimming. These keep your muscles moving and promote blood flow to your muscles, which can ward off stiffness.
- Foam roll - This hurts-so-good tool can unlock tension and tightness stored within your muscles, reducing your recovery time. Regular foam rolling will also make you more flexible. This helps you perform better at the gym and can even prevent you from suffering stress or overuse injuries.
- Destress – If your life has a lot of stress, you will carry this tension in your muscles. Over time, this can impact your ability to work out. It’s important to destress not only to improve your mental health, but to shorten your recovery time. Go for a walk, watch a funny movie, spend time with a friend, or do something you enjoy to reduce your stress level and give your body a break.
Incorporate these best ways to recover faster from a workout into your routine to see a difference in how you feel every day. What other tips do you have for promoting fast muscle recovery? Let us know in the comments.