People who exercise regularly know almost everything that’s been already said about training. Benefits of the workout are more than obvious – an improved fitness level, lean body, stronger immune system, healthier heart, better lifestyle, and so on.
However, many still tend to overlook the importance of recovery. While you spend most of your energy during your active hours, your body also needs some time to rebound and get well before you become active again.
The mental aspect of post-workout recovery also matters. It’s impossible to bounce back in a full force without giving your brain enough time to pause.
Without further ado, let’s get to the point – here’s how to successfully recover after an exhausting afternoon in the gym.
1. Never over-train again
You’ve probably had a handful of days when you pushed all your limits to have a particularly intensive training. Unfortunately, while your motivation and grit are understandable, you’d most definitely want to avoid having more of those days.
Besides, the high-intensity interval training is not for everyone – certainly not for beginners! Regardless of whether you think that there’s more fuel left in your tank, try not to over-
train ever again. Not only will you put your heart in danger, but it is also possible you’ll be so tired that you’ll need to postpone all your planned activities for the day.
You’ll have to learn to listen to your body. If the chest pain suggests it’s enough – it’s time to stop. Similarly, if you’re barely breathing, sit down to relax and lower your heart rate before you take a shower.
2. Get useful nutrients from food and supplements
In order to achieve better results, you’ll have to spend more time planning your meals. While consuming the right food before the gym will fuel your workout, eating after your gym session will assist your body in rebuilding glycogen stores and speeding up the muscle protein synthesis.
Eating protein and carbs will surely help your body to start the process of recovery soon after you finish your workout. For example, you can have a tuna sandwich with some eggs and cottage cheese. After that, you could drink chocolate milk and enjoy a piece of your favorite fruit.
Still, food doesn’t provide you with all the necessary nutrients and minerals. That’s why it is highly recommendable to do some research on which magnesium supplements to choose to increase energy levels and soothe sore muscles.
Moreover, magnesium also improves your heart’s health and affects your nerve system. On the other hand, consuming protein bars will help you boost your protein intake.
3. Meditate and do yoga
Another important part of your post-workout recovery is meditation. You don’t need to be an expert or climb mountains to find the perfect place to meditate. In fact, it is recommended to find a quiet place at your home, and pull away from all other activities for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. Meditation will help you understand what’s happening inside your body much better.
Besides, why not try to distance yourself from the common causes of stress at least once a day?
Alternatively, you can do yoga to recover your body and practice mindfulness. Yoga can also be the perfect replacement for your workout when you take days off the gym.
Other active recovery ideas include swimming and slow jogging.
4. Get enough sleep
Inadequate sleep can negatively affect your mood and ruin your next training. Moreover, you might become less tolerant of tiredness and stressful situations. In addition, poor sleep can change your hormone levels and decrease your aerobic endurance. Sleep deprivation can be the biggest enemy of a person striving to get lean. Not to mention that you can develop more serious sleep disorders.
Taking mass-building pre-sleep meals will rebuild your muscles during the night. For example, you can mix peanut butter with whey protein to maximize your potential for gaining mass. But it’s not all about the muscles, either. Getting adequate sleep will recharge your brain as well.
Not only will taking some recovery time boost your performance the next day, but it will also reduce the possibility of injuries. If you are used to having busy days and can’t imagine a single day without some form of physical activity, consider taking an active rest from gym sessions.
You can swim in the pool, or have a light stroll in the park. Actually, paying attention to what your body is telling you in recovery is extremely important. In fact, that’s the only way to know if there’s something wrong with how you’ve been treating your body during the physical activity.