Sharing tips on how to recover from your workouts! If you’re feeling sore or run down from your workout routine, here are some ideas for workout recovery.
Hi friends! Happy Thursday! The Pilot has flown nights for the past few weeks, so I’m REALLY looking forward to the weekend. I look forward to the weekends so much more now that the kids are back in school. It’s such a nice break for homework and craziness, and we have some fun projects that we’ve been tackling. (I’ll share more details soon.)
For today’s post, I wanted to talk about the most important aspect of your workouts and all of the hard work you’re doing: RECOVERY.
It’s easy to forget that the magic happens when we rest and recover. During the phase, muscle tissue is able to repair, you replenish your energy stores, and you’re able to hit your next workout harder and stronger than before. (This is why constantly running yourself into the ground will lead to diminishing returns. Your body needs time to rest and repair!)
Here are some of the things that will make a positive impact on your workout recovery:
1) Sleep. Sleep is the cure for everything, right? You want to make sure that you’re getting deep, restorative sleep each night. I like to have a bedtime routine (my body knows and expects that sleep is the next step in the process), turn off technology at least an hour before bed (and read a real, paper book), make sure ALL light is blocked out of the room (I use a sleep mask a sun-blocking curtains), and crawl into bed, even when I want to stay up later and keep working on stuff. More of my favorite sleep tips are in this post.
2) Hydration and solid nutrition. Hydration makes a huge impact on our body’s ability to recover from extensive workouts and training. Muscular repair after training depends on water intake. When cells are dehydrated, they take longer to repair, which will slow your recovery. It also can impact heart rate recovery after workouts. In this study, participants either drank a sports drink after their workout or nothing at all. The ones who had the sports drink had remarkably faster heart rate recovery. How much water do you drink? An easy way to remember this is to drink at least half your weight in ounces.
Nutrition-wise: make sure you fill up with protein, good carbs, and micronutrients (produce!) to facilitate muscle recovery and energize you for your next workout.
3) Having a balanced workout routine. This is my #1 tip to a faster recovery! You need to make sure that you’re alternating workout intensities in order to promote recovery and also prevent overtraining and overuse injuries. When we do the same thing over and over, you may have altered movement patterns, which can cause muscle imbalances and altered movement patterns = injury. Look at your weekly schedule and make sure you have a mix of high intensity days, low intensity, rest, steady state, and mobility work. You’ll check all the boxes! (If you need help setting up a fitness plan, check out this free download I created.)
4) Mobility, stretching, yoga. There are mixed opinions and data about the benefits of stretching and mobility, but my philosophy is that if it works for you and you enjoy it, do it! If you don’t like it, try to find other ways to make sure your joints are working through full range of motion throughout your workouts. I love Doc Jen for ideas on stretching and mobility!
5) Hot baths, sauna, magnesium, or epsom salt soaks. These are all things that feel great and a mix of these things can promote blood flow to heal sore muscles, reduce inflammation, or assist with soreness. Find something that feels lovely and restorative to you! Maybe it’s a massage, a hot bath with a book, a nap, a yin yoga class, whatever works for you. I’m a HUGE fan of this magnesium oil (it helps me get restful sleep and you can also spray it directly on sore muscles) and the bath soak from Equilibria (you can stack my code FITNESSISTA for an extra 30% off with their Mother’s Day sale that’s currently going on).
So tell me, friends: what’s the most restorative aspect of your routine? What’s something you look forward to each week?
I liiiiiiiiive for the sauna blanket. I use it a few times a week and it always feels like such a treat.