5 Ways to Help You Recover After Exercise

NathalieM By NathalieM, 1st Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/w-bymzxd/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

While the summer may now be coming to an end, now is the ideal time to make that commitment to being in tip-top shape next summer. Make sure that you treat your body with the utmost respect and ensure that you recover as quickly as possible. Here are my 5 top tips on recovering as quickly as possible.

Introduction

I recently made a conscious effort to start going to the gym more after becoming ever so slightly concerned about the amount of prosecco I have been enjoying this Summer. Although I was a little nervous about going back, that was soon forgotten after putting my favourite tracks on my iPod and dancing like a lunatic around my bedroom.

One thing that surprised me is that the number of young people attending gyms seems to have increased in the recent months. While they all seem to have enough motivation to improve their fitness, I couldn't believe the number of them not bothering to warm-up or cool-down properly. I saw several young men strutting in and making a beeline for the weights’ section. Needless to say they didn't bother to warm up and one eventually managed to pin himself against the bench.

I don’t know how much PE is taught in school these days but surely they must all have a basic knowledge and understanding of the need to warm up and cool down?!
I find it hard enough to motivate myself to go to the gym, and I admit that I can find a thousand excuses not to bother going and submitting myself to an hour’s torture on the cross-trainer and treadmill.

Despite my obvious lack of motivation and questionable discipline, I am still more than aware of the need to warm-up and cool-down properly. I even tried to give a couple of girls some advice about warming-down, but instead of being grateful they scowled at me.

In the hope that someone will actually appreciate and learn something, I have put together this guide to give you some basic advice on ways to help you recover after exercise. It’s really simple and it won’t take you long to master.

Stretching

If you have been doing any sort of cardio or strength training, your muscles are nicely warmed up and so they are more pliable and stretchy. Even though stretching doesn't help you cool-down, it’s highly effective at making sure you don’t suffer from the dreaded DOMS – that’s ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’, for those of you who don’t know.

My old personal trainer, Helen, told me that stretching ensures that you keep the circulation going in important areas and speeds up the healing process after your muscles begin breaking down.

Ideally you need to spend around 40 minutes stretching, but I know that this is far from practical when you need to get back to the office or pick the kids up from school. Instead try to spend around 10 minutes stretching the most important muscles.

This is also a great way to increase your flexibility; over time you will see real improvements, which in turn will improve your performance in the gym.

Massage

There have been mixed messages in the past about whether or not massages are an effective way of assisting recovery after exercise. However, there is a wealth of evidence highlighting their benefits and they should certainly be a part of your recovery process.

You don’t need me to tell you that booking yourself in for a massage after each gym session isn’t practical. However, after persuading my hubby to give me a few massages after workouts last year, I found that I benefited a lot from them.

Even though I pestered him for several weeks, he stopped giving me massages. Determined not to let his lack of generosity bring me down, I decided to invest in a mobile massager. I can’t tell you how important it is as part of my cool-down routine now, especially when I am returning to the gym after several weeks, (ok months!) break.

Protein Shake

Until recently there was a general belief that protein shakes were the forte of muscle-clad gym goers, clenching their biceps in full-length mirrors and making some of the worst grunting noises imaginable. However, times have changed and now everyone seems to be drinking protein shakes! I even have a friend who sips on one while she is walking her kids to school.

In order to help your body recover as fast as possible you need to be eating protein throughout the day. I know this can be a challenge and very expensive. That is where protein shakes become really handy and your best friend.

There are wide variety of different shakes available and it can be confusing when trying to choose one. I would suggest either asking advice in your local sports shop or simply order a plain protein shake that has minimal carbohydrates.

Drink (more) water

It is worth remembering that each time you move you are disbursing water from your body. After intense physical exercise you need to replace this water in order to boost your recovery.

There isn’t really a set amount that you need to consume but I would suggest drinking and drinking until you physically can’t drink any more. Then sip on a bottle of water throughout the rest of the day. This will help ensure that you recover as quickly as possible while decreasing muscle soreness.

Use the Cool-Down Feature on the Treadmill

As you have probably noticed, each piece of cardio exercise equipment comes complete with a cool-down feature. From my own experience I have noticed that not many people seem to use it and instead bring their thundering on the treadmill to a sudden stop, gasping for air while attempting not to fall over. Trust me, this is not a good look.

When you exercise you need to be asserting yourself around 8 or 9 out of ten. Obviously you can’t reach that level immediately or abruptly stop; that is why cardio exercise equipment has a warm-up and cool-down feature. If you suddenly press stop on the treadmill, you run the risk of fainting and making a fool of yourself. The cool-down feature is there for a reason, so use it!

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading. Please check out some of my other articles on Wikinut and follow me on Twitter too.

Tags

Cool Down, Exercise, Fitness, Health, Recovery, Workout

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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Comments

author avatar peachpurple
19th Sep 2015 (#)

a good massage after a workout soothe the muscles

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