Being active is essential in leading a healthy lifestyle, remember movement is medicine, but we need to make sure we’re also caring for our bodies after exercise.
I often get the question on how to recover, what is the best way to reduce muscle soreness and what you should do after working out. When we work out we are essentially tearing down our muscle fibers, the idea is that they will then grow back stronger; however, if we don’t repair them they never will which is why there are some important things you should do after exercise.
These tips will not only help repair your muscle fibers, they will also reduce muscle soreness and help them grow. Which is basically how you tone up! And you’re probably reading this saying “yes” that is exactly what I want — to tone up!
Now pay attention, because these tips will help you get the results you want while looking after the only place you have to live — your body!
No, you are not going to wake up looking like The Incredible Hulk one day because you ate protein or had a post recovery shake. The majority of people are not eating enough protein throughout the day and this is what reduces our muscles. Why? Because our muscles are made of protein and we need to feed them with food groups rich in this source so they can repair, rebuild and grow. On average I have 100-110g of lean protein a day, check your daily amount over the next few days and see if you are reaching your target!
Being active takes a toll on your body and studies show massaging every day is beneficial to muscle recovery. It helps break down the knots and tension in your muscles while increasing blood flow. All of this allows your body to repair quicker and reduces the soreness and stiffness that you feel. I have been testing out the Wahl Lithium Ion Cordless Deep Tissue Massager for my post-workout cool down and just before I go to bed watching some Netflix. For someone who works out a lot and sits at a computer for a large part of the day it has really helped me with the tension I feel in my back. Because of the way the Wahl massager handle is designed, I’m able to get all areas of my back and I don't have to ask Cory to help out!
It has helped me sleep better and reduce the pain I feel after working on my laptop, especially when I am trying to balance Alphie and Pennie on my lap!
It’s cordless so you can take it anywhere, and has enough power to tackle your larger muscle groups as well as more pointed pain sources. I’m a big advocate of massaging because it reduces pain, decreases swelling and improves blood-circulation. Also, if you want help with flexibility and overall stiffness I highly recommend massaging every day.
I take every Sunday to stretch or do yoga as my active recovery and I know many of you join me in doing it on this day of the week too. It doesn't matter what day you stretch you just want to add it into your weekly routine at least once, really though for overall flexibility and health I would recommend a good 20-30 minute stretch 3-4 x a week. Multitask by watching TV and stretching, this will improve your flexibility and reduce stiffness. I also like adding in the massager at the same time, it’s like having your own masseuse at home!
Alrighty, now you know some really powerful ways to help with recovery, muscle tension, reduced pain and muscle growth. Yet there are also some things I want you to avoid that can cause the opposite!
Drastic Changes in Type of Exercise
Changing up your exercise routine is so important, but I want to warn against drastic changes. If you are someone who does a lot of low intensity workouts and yoga, jumping into heavy lifting puts you at risk for injury. On the other hand, if you do a lot of heavy lifting and never work on cardio, running several miles could potentially lead to an injury.
Diversify your workouts but make sure you are safe and do it gradually.
Icing When You Should Heat
Icing is great and should be used only in certain circumstances. If you have a new injury which is swollen, ice will reduce inflammation. Yet, if you suffer from chronic pain, heating increases blood flow to the area to help ease it.
Always listen to your body and if you have chronic pain, it’s a great idea to see a doctor.
Spending 2-3 Hours at the Gym Every Day
You don’t have to do long, intense workouts every day in order to see results. In fact, there are many people who will spend 2-3 hours working out intensely and do not see results because their muscle fibers never have the time to repair themselves.
Of course you want to move your body every day, but 2-3 hours at the gym is not necessary and can put you at risk for injury. Workout each day for 20-45 minutes and change up the body parts to give each area time to recover.
Ok, now you are all set to go crush your workout and have an epic recovery so you can heal, grow and beast your next workout! Remember to add in the Wahl massager for an extra recovery boost!