Are you having one of those days where no matter which part of your body you move, you hurt? Whether you’re a gym fanatic or an occasional runner, you need to include recovery as an essential part of your health.
Rather than dealing with soreness and fatigue by taking pain-relieving medicines and sucking it up, try some of these scientifically-backed ways to help your body heal quicker. Trust us, your easy workout days and recovery days are just as important as the days you smash it in the gym. Take time to treat your body well, rest your bones and reap the benefits in the process.
1. Get Some Sleep
While we still don’t know the exact reason why sleep is important for exercise, many researchers believe that sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on our recovery and performance.
Sleep can affect the whole body and the way it works – including the heart, brain, lungs, immune function, metabolism, disease resistance, and mood. So, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, then you should consider buying mouth strips. These have been shown to improve the quality of your sleep and you can see them all here.
2. Eat Some Protein Before Bed
Most people know that when we work out, we cause small tears in our muscle tissue. Our body needs protein in order to repair these tears, but we don’t usually give our bodies nutrients while we sleep. Recent research has suggested that if we consume a protein-rich snack before going to sleep, our bodies will continue to repair our muscle tissue overnight.
3. Eat Protein in the Morning
After a rigorous workout and a good night’s sleep, your body will need some nutrients to recharge. High protein breakfasts can help your muscles heal and may also help cut down on food cravings later in the day.
4. Get a Massage
Who doesn’t love a good massage? Well, now you’ve got an excuse to have one! Research has shown that a massage can help reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Relaxing tunes and scented candles are of course optional.
5. Take a Cold Bath
Okay, so this one might not be as enjoyable as having a massage, but many athletes believe that having a cold bath after completing rigorous exercise can help reduce the soreness of your muscles. Research into this area has shown that cold water can help reduce muscle inflammation but it might not be as effective as active recovery.
6. Take Some Anti-Inflammatories
Before taking any medication, you should discuss it with your doctor first. Anti-inflammatory medicines have been shown to reduce soreness and help speed up muscle recovery. However, if your aim in the gym is to build muscle, then anti-inflammatories may hinder this. You could think about adding some natural anti-inflammatories into your diet like willow bark or turmeric instead.
7. Listen to Some Music
Many people listen to music to relax during a strenuous workout – or at the very least to distract themselves from the soreness of their muscles – but listening to music has also been shown to help aid in exercise recovery.
Slow-tempo music can help to get your blood lactate – the thing that causes you to be in pain in the first place – down to normal levels a lot faster after exercise and it can also help reduce your heart rate faster.
Giving your body time to recover is important. Try and follow these top tips and you’ll be well on your way to being fit and healthy.