When you push your body to higher levels and expect more out of it each time you work out, you also need to let it recover. Ideally though, you want it to recover as fast as possible from these extreme types of workouts so that you can keep up your training regimen and don’t risk injury. What can you do to make this happen?
Learn to Love the Cold
Icing down your muscles after a rough workout decreases swelling, reduces inflammation, lowers pain, and speeds up healing. Some athletes do this via an ice bath, but putting ice packs on the areas you worked extra hard has some positive benefits as well.
The greatest effects occur when ice can be applied within twenty minutes post-workout. Also, if you choose the bath over the ice packs, don’t fill it any higher than your waist and keep your immersion to 5-20 minutes max. Be aware that this particular recovery method can affect your heart and respiratory systems, so use it cautiously.
Stretch Your Body
One of the best ways to help your body recover from a grueling workout is to stretch the muscles you’ve used so that they don’t stiffen up on you. Spend 5-10 minutes after your exercise session slowly elongating your muscles and you will feel better in the long run.
Because you’ve just pushed your body super hard, you’re going to want to get the lactic acids out of your muscles and out of your body. This can be accomplished by increasing the amount of water you drink, thereby increasing the amount that you excrete which removes the acid easily and effectively.
Eat More Protein
Protein helps your muscles recover giving them the fuel they need to grow bigger and stronger. You can get protein from meat sources like turkey, chicken, and lean beef, but it is also in eggs, yogurt, cheese, and other low-fat dairy.
Recover from the treacherous workouts you engage in by doing these four things. Your body will thank you!