The Importance of Muscle Recovery
Exercise can be very taxing on your body. During an intense bout of physical activity, you actually cause your muscle tissue to break down. This surprises many people as they think that the time they spend in the gym causes their muscles to grow, not break down. The truth is, your muscles only grow outside of the gym while they’re resting. If you don’t provide your muscles with a proper period of recovery, they’ll only get further broken down the next time you workout. If you’re trying to increase muscle size or strength, this is very bad news.
Your muscles need to get an adequate period of rest in order for them to have a chance to rebuild and repair themselves so they’re better able to handle the next load they lift. Particularly after weight training, giving your body 24-48 hours before you work the same muscles is crucial. That said, here are some of the best muscle tips around.
Muscle Recovery Tips
- Get Adequate Sleep. It’s important to get at least 8 hours sleep per night. Human Growth hormone is essential to both muscle recovery and repair, and it’s mainly produced during your sleep. If you’re after a better physique, don’t rob yourself of this necessary step.
- Listen To Your Body. If you’re tired, achey, or noticing less-than-impressive performance out of yourself, then your body is probably telling you that you need to rest. If you’re feeling strong and ready to go, you probably don’t need anymore than a days rest. Don’t ignore your body, it’s usually right. Listen to it over any hard-and-fast rules some fitness “guru” tries to tell you.
- Rest and Relax. Your body is very capable of repairing itself, just give it some time. Just 24-48 hours should do the trick in most cases. It can be frustrating to feel like you’re just waiting around, but this time is important, whether you like it or not. Let this minimum amount of time pass before working out the same body parts again.
- Drink Water. And lots of it. Think of water for your body as you you do of oil for your car. Everything just works better and more efficiently when your car has the proper amount of oil. This is absolutely true for your body as well. By keeping your body hydrated, you make it easier on your body’s metabolic processes, which are essential to recovery. The latest research says that women should have at least 2.7L (90 ounces) of water a day, while men should have at least 3.7L (125 ounces) a day.
- Cool Down. When you’d normally finish your workout, keep going, but wind down the intensity a lot. Adding on this extra period of low intensity for 5-10 minutes after your workout is said to reduce the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, which will reduce muscle stiffness post-exercise.
- Eat. There’s a window of opportunity about one hour after a workout that is a perfect chance to help your body recover. After your body has been stressed by exercise, it is very eager to replenish its energy stores. By giving your body the nutrition it craves, it’ll help your muscles rebuild and grow.
- Stretch. Stretching after exercise can help your muscles to relax. Try a PNF stretching routine.
- Have An Ice Bath. Muscle break-down occurs when you exercise. This can lead to delayed muscle pain and soreness. By having a cold bath (12-15 degrees celsius), your body’s blood vessels constrict. This is said to flush wastes like lactic acid out of your tissues, reduce swelling and tissue breakdown, and shortens your recovery time.