It’s important that your body properly recovers from any type of intense athletic/workout event, whether that is running an ultra, a marathon, an epic rock climbing day, or working hard in your yard. Taking care of your body and mind is essential. That’s why we recommend these important steps in workout recovery:
Step 1: Keep Walking and Hydrate
After running or working out, don’t just stop. Keep walking for a few minutes while you drink water or a carbohydrate/protein replacing drink. Liquids are essential for nutrient transfer and the metabolic process that aids body function and recovery. Slowing down with walking helps your heart rate to gradually drop and your circulation to slowly return to it’s normal resting state to help reduce lactic acid from your muscles.
Step 2: Eat!
It is important to eat around 200-300 calories of easy-to-digest carbohydrates and proteins to replace muscle glycogen for tissue repair. Eating small snacks that are well balanced throughout the day while hydrating is ideal.
Step 3: Consider a Contrast Shower
Taking a shower while switching between hot and cold water (1 min. hot/1 min. cold) can help to flush lactic acid out of your muscles. The heat is a vasodilator which opens the blood vessels and increases circulation, while the cold is a vasoconstrictor that closes the blood vessels and slows circulation down. The back and forth of hot and cold acts as a pump to push fluid through.
Step 4: Use a Foam Roller – But Not Right Away
Wait a few hours before using your foam roller to allow your tissue to recover and start repairing itself. Click here for helpful tips on how to properly use your foam roller.
Step 5: Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Deep sleep is when our body repairs itself from damage and we help ourselves to heal. Make sure you are allowing yourself plenty of sleep each night. Quick Tip: If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try to limit your screen usage about 30 minutes to an hour before you get in bed.
Step 6: Take It Easy for the Next Few Days
Do low intensity and low impact cross training activities like yoga, gentle stretching, and pilates to see how your body reacts and if you are ready to lightly return to previous sports. Pushing your body too much or too quickly is a recipe for an injury.
This is the time you have to celebrate your achievements, think about the changes you may want to make for growth, and allow your magnificent body time to heal itself. Respect the workout recovery process and your body will thank you for it by being able to return to activity with less repercussions.
If you have any questions about workout recovery or avoiding injuries, please reach out. We’d love to help!