How To Recover Faster From A Workout

how to recover faster from a workout

Recovering quickly after an intense workout or race means you can begin your next training session faster and stronger. Of course, you’ll also greatly reduce the pain and discomfort that usually accompanies a “bad recovery” — sore muscles, aching joints, and a pounding headache, anyone? 

Unfortunately, knowing how to improve workout recovery isn’t something novice athletes usually focus on. Instead, the focus is generally on the workout itself and how to maximize its benefits. Taking time to look at your recovery can be a radical change for the better in the way you exercise. Here are some tips to help you get started with improved post-workout recovery. 

6 Ways to Improve Your Recovery (And Recover Faster) After Workouts 

1. Go Hard On Your Water Intake 

Many people who struggle to recover from their workouts aren’t drinking enough water. While it can be hard to chug while you’re exercising (many people end up with cramps, for example), drinking at least eight ounces of water while you work out can at least replace your sweat. 

To get the rest of your water in throughout the day, try to have a water bottle with you at all times. Also, consider drinking other liquids like milk, caffeine-free tea, and low- or no-sugar juices. All of these liquids, plus the water you drink, will keep your body hydrated and your muscles pliable so that workouts don’t cause as much harm. 

2. Eat A Balanced Diet

Eating a nutritious diet keeps your body strong and resilient — even after a tough workout. You’ll want most of your meal plates to be filled up with veggies. Supplement that with some meat or fish and a small portion of whole grains. 

Additionally, take a look at how much protein you consume on a regular basis. Most people aren’t getting enough. Naturally, the best sources of protein tend to be animal-based, so incorporate foods like chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork, fish, and eggs into your diet. Some nutritionists advocate matching the amount of protein (in grams) you get each day with your body weight (in pounds). It's important to get enough amino acids to help build and repair muscle tissue.

3. Consider Trying A CBD Topical 

CBD topical creams and gels can help alleviate the muscle pain associated with difficult workout recoveries. Not only does CBD (also known as cannabidiol) have natural anti-inflammatory properties to limit muscle and joint pain flare-ups, but it’s also good for reducing overall stress. It can fight nausea and even improve your sleep — both of which help with workouts as well. Find a Los Angeles dispensary that specializes in topicals and choose one that meets your needs to help recover from workouts. 

4. Get Regular Massages 

Pent-up stress in your body can often exacerbate sore muscles and joints after a workout. Therefore, if you can limit the stress and tension in your body and mind to begin with, you can often alleviate pain and discomfort after a grueling workout. 

Massages are good because they loosen up the muscles, improve circulation, and increase your overall relaxation. They can even increase alertness and energy. Many people make a plan of incorporating a massage into their post-race recovery period, which is a great way to make this transition much more comfortable. 

5. Try A Foam Roller To Relax Sore Muscles 

Foam rollers offer an easy-to-use technique for applying self-myofascial release (SMR). This reduces inflammation and can help with soreness and tightness. Many professional athletic coaches and physical therapists recommend using a foam roller directly after any type of workout. It can also be used as a warmup routine. 

To use a foam roller effectively, position your roller beneath the area you want to massage (the legs, arms, or lower back, for example). To apply the necessary pressure, use the body weight of that area of your body to pin the roller between you and the ground, then gently roll the roller to deepen the massage. 

This is a great frugally fit option since not everyone can afford consistent massages!

6. Get More Sleep 

There is a strong, established relationship between quality sleep and muscle recovery after a workout. That is, the better you sleep, the better and faster you recover. 

Experts recommend that most adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Too little sleep can result in an inhibited immune system and less resiliency to both injuries and illness. 

Having trouble getting to sleep? Can’t seem to stay asleep once you get there? The problem could be related to screens. 

An increasing number of adults are spending hours every night on tablet devices and smart phones or in front of their computers or TVs. All of these devices emit a blue light, which tells the body that it’s daytime. 

This makes it harder for you to sleep well because the body won’t produce the natural hormones that help sleep kick in. Naturally, at night, you want your body to think that it’s nighttime! Therefore, limiting the use of screens before bed (for at least an hour, experts say) can have great effects. In turn, this can benefit your post-workout recovery by allowing your body time to heal and rebuild. 

Ramp Up Recovery Post-Workout

If you’re used to grueling workouts that leave you strained and sore for days, try the tips we’ve offered above. Not only will they almost certainly help reduce your recovery times after exercise, but they’re also sure to improve your health and wellbeing overall!

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