Recovery after a workout is a topic that many people who exercise on a regular basis seem to avoid, mainly beginners. It is easy to fall into a trap of belief that more exercise is better, and recovery is not as important than workout it self. This is false. If you are exercising excessively and without a proper recuperation not only will your body stops producing results, but you are putting your self at risk of injury, which may last for month’s.
There is a lot of things you can do to help your body recover from exercise, especially if you do Interval Training Workouts, or any other type of workout that becomes very taxing on your system. Here are just a few basics:
If you have a job where you are standing on your feet all day, your legs become very swollen. And if you do your workouts after work, you can’t get the full benefit of your workout like that. Leg elevations are very helpful in restoring circulation back to your legs. I would also recommend this after your workout if you have time, or just 20 -30 minutes before bed, it is also great if your legs feel sore from a previous workout.
Lay down on the floor, place a mat underneath if you like, place your legs up against the wall or a couch, I like the wall better. Positioning your legs this way will allow gravity to assist your body in returning blood back up to the heart, restoring circulation.
Specified warm up and a cool down
Your body recovers much faster when you follow proper guidelines such as a specified warm – up and a proper cool down. There is a general warm -up which is 5 minutes, followed by a specified warm – up, which is another 5 minutes. Specified means you should replicate the exercises from your workout with a very light load, so your body is prepared for a higher load.
Stretching routine is just as important, I don’t understand how some people choose to skip this step as well. Perform lower back stretches every time your stretch, this area has a lot of nerves in it, and if you don’t stretch it you will always feel pain in your lower back.
Don’t sit down between your sets
Always move around between your sets, it is called cooling down from previous set and warming up for the next. Movement serves as a transition in between. It is also part of an integrated approach for recovery.
Another rule is never sit right after your workout, keep moving until your heart rate comes down.
Contrast Showers after your workout
Immediately after your training it is recommended to do bursts of hot and cold shower contrasts, repeated 4 – 6 times. It feel really weird in the beginning but you will get use to it pretty fast. This will really improves your circulation and helps with the recovery process. Right after you will feel an incredible amount of energy.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is where the magic happens, the body begins to build as well as recuperate while you’ re sleeping. You need a least 8 hours a night to fully recover. If you can’t sleep for the full 8 hours, take power naps during the day ( I personally can’t do power naps ).
And last but not least, a reminder that I cannot stress enough – Drink Water! A lot of water. At least a gallon or more a day. Drink water in the morning before you eat, drink water before your workout, drink water during your work out and drink water after. And when you sleep dream about drinking water!
PS – Please don’t make fun of my picture, I was just trying to be creative