Making exercise a permanent part of our routine is an essential aspect of healthy living. Unfortunately, many people who make an effort to do so become bogged down by post-workout recovery aches and pains. The hours and days following an intense workout are usually accompanied by sore muscles and stiff joints, making it challenging to maintain a reliable fitness schedule.
It’s easy to give up, but that option is unacceptable. Instead, men and women ought to find ways to improve their post-workout recovery process. In doing so, they alleviate pain, decrease exhaustion, and reduce the turnaround time needed to get back to exercise as soon as possible.
Here are the fundamentals for getting started:
Drinking plenty of water is imperative for getting the most from your workouts. It’s especially true when it comes to the recovery process. Chronic dehydration leads to muscle cramps, mental exhaustion, and a host of other conditions negatively affecting post-exercise recovery. It may also be limiting your stamina and energy levels during the workout itself. Make an effort to drink several glasses of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration during exercise and afterward.
Cannabidiol, often abbreviated to CBD, is an organic compound gaining traction in the health and wellness community for various purposes. Commonly sold as an oil or tincture, CBD is used to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in the aftermath of high-intensity exercise. Consider incorporating CBD into your post-workout routine. As long as it meets CBD traceability standards, the substance is 100% safe to use and shown to be effective at managing inflammation resulting from intense physical activity. Give it a try to see if it helps improve your post-workout recovery process.
Quality sleep is key to giving your body the chance to properly recover after intense exercise. While it’s easier said than done, correcting any existing sleep disorders or problems with recurring insomnia will have an immediate impact on your post-workout recovery. Eight hours of sleep per night continues to be the gold standard, but the exact amount needed for adequate rest varies from person to person. Focus on consistency; go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Doing so sets into motion a healthy sleep-wake cycle that’s conducive to successful physical recovery from exercise.
Optimize your protein intake
Much of the post-workout recovery process involves your body working to repair your muscles. Protein is the brick and mortar needed to make that happen. Find ways to get healthy sources of protein into your diet. While lean meats are popular, plenty of meatless protein-rich foods exist as well. In conjunction with regular exercise, quality protein intake puts your body on the fast track to greater strength and endurance.
Take days off
The whole point of letting your body recover after intense exercise is giving it time to do so. More times than not, this means taking at least one day off between designated workout days. If determined to stay active, use that day to go for a brief walk or bike ride. Give your body the time it takes to properly recover to prevent injury and ultimately shorten the time it takes you to reach your fitness goals.
Take hot baths
Taking a nice hot bath might sound like the last thing you want to do when you’re dripping with sweat after a fierce workout. However, doing so aids in the body’s natural efforts to recover from exercise. To prevent overheating, give yourself 15 minutes to half an hour to cool off. Sit inside an air-conditioned building, drink ice-cold water, and follow up with a dunk in a hot bath. Consider placing an ice pack over your head or across your neck to prevent further overheating.
In addition to protein, your body needs healthy sources of carbohydrates and fats to be fully capable of recovering from intense exercise over an extended length of time. In other words, a nutritious diet is once again the key to healthy living.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration. As mentioned earlier, dehydration causes all sorts of problems with workout recovery. Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol as much as possible. A few drinks throughout the week is okay, but anything more is putting your recovery process at risk. What’s more, alcohol is unhealthy in general, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.