If you’re the type who’d spend half a day in the gym then you’re no stranger to muscle pain. Rest and recovery are a critical part of a fitness program, especially for strength and conditioning. And it’s important to protect yourself from injuries caused by a series of intensive workout. Remember, resting is just as important as exercising! And if you want to recover quickly from a brutal workout, consider these tips:
1. Get Plenty of Zzzs
That’s right, to heal and recover from an intense workout, you have to get plenty of sleep. When you sleep, the body repairs itself. It starts healing damaged muscles and inflamed ligaments. When you wake up, the body is back to its naturally healthy state! So never underestimate the power of an 8-hour sleep every night!
2. Drink Plenty of Fluids
When you work out, you perspire a lot. And when you do, you have to continuously replace lost body fluids. If you don’t, you will suffer from dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, pain from muscle soreness is amplified! Drinking more water also helps flush out toxins from the system. It also speeds up the metabolic rate and promotes faster recovery!
There is no consensus on how much water you should drink in a day. But start with 8 glasses of water on days when you’re not working out. Increase your water consumption on days when you are training but not during.
3. Eat Balanced Meals
To speed up recovery, you have to eat balanced meals. Ideally, you want to consume a ratio of 2:1 of carbs to protein before, during or after training. Balanced meals will minimize muscle soreness. A nutritious pre and post-workout diet also boosts energy and replenishes nutrients in the body.
4. Apply Mentholated Creams on Sore Muscles
Got sore muscles? If your muscles are in knots, start applying a generous layer of mentholated creams like Ben Gay. Mentholated creams will warm up the muscles, easing tightness. It will also dull the pain temporarily. Give yourself a massage as you apply the cream to alleviate pain.
When you’re in pain after a tough workout, stretch your muscles after. This is an excellent way to alleviate pain and loosen tight, inflamed muscles. Stretching also strengthens the joints, prevents injuries and boost flexibility! So stretch away!
6. Get a Massage
Treat yourself to a great massage at least once a month. A good massage will increase blood circulation and loosen knotted muscles. It soothes sore muscles and painful joints. A massage also triggers the production and repair of muscle cells. All the while helping you stay relaxed!
7. Take an Ice Bath/ Contrast Water Therapy
An ice bath and contrast water therapy help speed up recovery. These treatments will minimize muscle pain, prevent injury and boost energy. The idea is to constrict and dilate the blood vessels to eliminate fluids within the muscle tissues. The result? Less muscle pain and inflammation!
8. Do not Over-Train
You have to develop your muscles gradually to achieve definition. Overtraining will not lead to an impressive physique. So pace yourself, your biceps won’t grow overnight. Avoid spending all day in the gym and skipping rest days. When you pace yourself, you’re less likely to overwork your muscles.