Time for recovery can make or break a workout regime. These tips from celebrity fitness trainers and industry experts will help.
Survived a gruelling workout? You’ve earned the indescribable bliss from endorphins (bonus happy points if that indulgent cheesecake you had with lunch is now history).
Truth is, the workout probably stretched and worked your muscles – resulting in micro tears. While these tears are necessary for strengthening, soreness kicks in because muscles are “sensitive and fragile,” sports performance coach Jan Milano told POPSUGAR.
“Overstretching of the muscle when sore can easily lead to the micro tears getting worse, prolonging the recovery and repair time of the muscle,” he added.
The answer? A great recovery regime that quickly gets your muscles to tip-top condition.
Here are three tips from people who eat, live and breathe exercise:
1) Catch the golden refuelling windows
Finished that intense workout? You’ve 20 minutes to rehydrate and an hour to load up on protein and carbohydrate-rich foods. These are the optimal windows, Mr Ralph Reiff, who supervised the recovery of U.S. Olympians at the recent Rio Olympics, told SHAPE.
“You worked out, you drove your car, and now you’ve got to put more fuel in your car so it works again tomorrow,” Mr Reiff explained.
“Don’t wait three hours before you refuel, because the body’s going to continue to metabolise and struggle following that workout, whether it’s weightlifting, CrossFit, other high-intensity exercises or just a walk through Central Park,” he said.
2) Skip on that post-workout booze
I exercise so I feel less guilty about calories from drinking. Right? Not a chance, according to a University of North Texas study.
The study, which involved twenty physically active participants, found that those who drank alcohol post-workout had significantly less muscle growth.
“Our research shows men are more affected by alcohol than women,” said co-author Jakob Vingren. “We know alcohol affects testosterone, and it is a gender difference, so testosterone appear to be an obvious thing to look at,” he told Daily Mail Online.
3) Still sore? Give more time for recovery
Take it from Australian fitness guru Kayla Itsines. “For example, if you are hobbling around from yesterday’s leg workout, then give your legs a rest and train arms or abs instead,” she wrote in a blog post.
She added: “This way, you’re still able to give your sore muscles a chance to recover without having to miss a workout. In saying that, there is nothing wrong with skipping a workout from time to time if you are simply too sore to function!”
Which tip was your favourite? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.