A good post workout recovery routine is the reward your body deserves after being put through its paces with a strenuous workout. By incorporating a few simple recovery activities into your fitness program, you are allowing your body to recover, repair and rejuvenate. Personal trainer, Polar Ambassador and qualified MMA Specialist, Moses Bentley talks us through his favourite five post workout recovery tips.
post workout recovery tip #1: stay hydrated
Hydration during and after a workout session is extremely important. Even a minimal loss of fluid can impact on performance and so it is essential to remain hydrated at all times.
Our bodies maintain temperature by sweating. When we sweat we are losing body fluids and so drinking water is necessary to replace the fluids lost and ensure our muscle function is kept optimal.
Understanding your body and your sweat rates during different activity will help you formulate a plan. Use this information to keep hydrated during your workout and know what you need to give your body post workout.
post workout recovery tip #2: stretch it out
Stretching is one of the best ways to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue after a workout. It also helps the body to repair. If you are time poor, then I especially encourage focusing immediately on the muscles groups most worked during that session.
Stretching immediately after the workout while your muscles are still warm, will ensure increased blood circulation and allow the breakdown of lactic acid released during high intensity activity.
A good stretch also contributes to increased flexibility and reduces the stiffness that comes with “leg day.” Three to four stretches on each muscle group will give your body and mind time to reset and as you unwind and your body cools down, be sure to check your heart rate device to monitor your heart rate recovery times. The new Polar A370 activity tracker with continuous heart rate is the perfect workout accessory to keep you on the pulse.
Remember stretching should be enjoyable. In this instance, the ‘’no pain, no gain’’ theory does not apply. Be kind to your body and know your limits.
post workout recovery tip #3: Fuel with food
Our bodies need to be fuelled. It is important that you eat the right foods post workout to get the most for your efforts. I have a lot of clients who simply don’t feel up to eating after a workout, but it is necessary.
I encourage my clients participating in intense training programs to increase protein intake. By investing in a respected whey protein powder you can easily make a quick smoothie that is easy to digest, tastes great and will be absorbed by your body quickly and effectively.
During your workout, it is likely that your potassium and magnesium levels will be depleted. Your body will thank you for a hit of the good stuff… Bananas are always a favourite, packed full of potassium, a banana can re-energise those muscles and reduce cramping.
post workout recovery tip #4: Low impact activity
There is no need to go hard everyday.
Your body will appreciate a day of rest or at least the inclusion of a low impact activity.
A 30-minute walk or bike ride can do wonders for stiff and tired muscles.
Low impact activity can aid recovery as it will encourage blood flow and stimulate circulation to the muscles, reducing tension and allowing the muscles to revert to their original form.
post workout recovery tip #5: Solid sleep
Our bodies need to rest.
Try to aim for at least seven hours each night and to maximise your restfulness and wind down your mind try not to interact with any technologies at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. You will be amazed at the difference in your quality of sleep.
A lack of sleep has been proven to reduce energy levels and mental awareness, in-turn impacting on your training sessions and capabilities.
Information in this article is not intended as medical advice and is the opinion of the featured athlete. Before pursuing any physical activity or program, you should consult with a medical professional.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.