Five Benefits of Post-Workout Recovery – Timing and Rest is Everything
Regardless of whether you are into the fitness scene or not, you know the good aspects of a post-workout recovery routine. Many people, however, will feel guilty about getting some rest afterward, so they end up overtraining themselves and causing some injuries to their bodies.
However, this practice carries very many benefits for your health and maintenance of your body, as your body needs a reward after putting up with strenuous workouts. It helps the body to recover faster, as well as rejuvenating itself. If you have not started incorporating it into your routine because it looks hard, here are five reasons you need to do so.
The post-workout recovery phase
When you want to get better at any physical activity or improve your level of fitness, your body must be exposed to certain stresses. These are all different and they will be determined by what you want to improve – for example, sprints, weightlifting, and endurance running, and so on.
However, once you complete these activities, the body must be given enough time to recover from the stress it went through, and this is when it is able to start adapting to the activity. This is called the recovery phase.
When you neglect the recovery stage, you are doing your body more harm than good, as you are increasing the chances of getting injuries. Many fitness and exercise programs always have resting days, and you should incorporate it if you are creating your own program.
The whole reason your body needs some rest after exercise is that the muscles need time to repair themselves and engage any muscles that are sore from the physical activity. For this stage, there are different techniques you can use, five that we will highlight in this article.
Selecting the correct snack
One major mistake very many people make is eating the wrong things after a workout session – and this will undo all the good things happening in your body. The right snack should have a combination of proteins and fast-acting carbohydrates, as you are aiming to replace glycogen and boost insulin; this will alert the body to start synthesizing protein and not break down muscles.
Among the most common snacks is getting a protein smoothie, or a glass of chocolate milk. These will provide the necessary combination that the body craves for after a gym session.
The importance of hydration both during and after a workout session cannot be overstated enough. This is because even minimal losses of fluid can change the efficiency of your performance, affect the functioning of your muscles and interfere with the joints as they are not properly lubricated.
The body is able to maintain its temperature through sweating, but you are losing water in the process – this necessitates you drinking water to replace the lost fluids. It is also important to understand the rates of your sweating so that you know the amount to take in during and after the workout.
Fit some off-days in your schedule
It is good to exercise, but it is even better to allow your body to rest. Many people seem to make the mistake of not giving their body breaks, especially when they are starting out. They push their bodies too hard while expecting instant results and risk injuries.
The best thing is to give your body a break of one or two days at most, especially when working on the same muscle groups, while some people find that their bodies respond best when they take a whole week off.
However, if you cannot stand the idea of taking a long period off, you can have a ‘de-load’ week as a compromise, where you can train using 50 to 65 percent less intensity than you normally use, or you consider doing lighter exercises like going out for a walk to stretch your muscles.
Be wise in using supplements
It is very normal to find an endless array of supplements and pills that claim to make your weight loss journey more effective, but you need to select and use them wisely. You will find that most of them are either ineffective or overpriced.
There are supplements that are effective and do not empty your wallet though – such as BCAAs (Base chain amino acids), which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. They are in powder form and you can add them to your post-workout water to improve your recovery rates.
Streching is very important for post-workout recovery
This is among the best ways to promote recovery, as the muscles are still warm and improve blood circulation while speeding the breakdown of lactic acid. It also reduces muscle stiffness, and will cool down your body’s temperature – but you must remember, it should be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.
While it is important to exercise hard, you cannot achieve much progress unless your body takes enough time to recover – which is why you need to incorporate a post-workout recovery routine. It also reduces the risks of injuries you may get that could hamper your fitness goals.