Very interesting research lately provides new insight on how to recover quicker from sore muscles. It was found that low-intensity exercise on your days away from the gym actually help quicken the healing process.
The reason here is that light exercise such as walking or biking for about 15-20 minutes helps improve blood flow to your muscles all over your body. This improved blood flow in turn carries nutrients which are essential in muscle tissue recovery.
Makes sense doesn’t it? Now many people who take a rest day or two but then end up falling out of their routine have something new to consider. If you just add a quick walk to the grocery store or give yourself a break and get out of the house to relax your mind you are doing your body extra good.
This is also interesting for those who over-train at the gym and don’t get enough rest. Just keeping a one day on, one day off routine for best results can now be enhanced by doing light cardio on the off day.
Here are some extra ideas you may want to consider to help muscle recovery:
- Nutrition: Notice that in the statement above it is stated that improved blood flow carries nutrients to aid in muscle recovery. This means that you should pay special attention to eating extra healthy when you are sore so that you get all the adequate minerals, vitamins and amino acids (found in protein).
- Warm-Up/Cool Down: Leaving enough time before and after your workout for warming up and cooling down is an absolute must to allow your body to prepare for workouts and then to slow down and bring your heart rate back to normal
- Flexibility Training: Also allowing 10-15 minutes after your workout for training your flexibility is really important for relaxing your muscles and re-aligning everything.
- Adequate Sleep: You should be aiming for 7-8 hours a night, no exceptions! Sleep is absolutely essential to muscle recovery.
- Massage Therapy: I can’t stress enough how much massage therapy has helped me with muscle recovery. A registered massage therapist will know exactly where your trouble spots are and allow them to massage out all the knots. This will also improve blood flow to that area and increase recovery speed.
- Adequate water intake: Aiming for 2 liters of water a day is best practice for anyone exercising, and increasing this especially on cardio days is very smart.
- Yoga/Meditation/Relaxation: Reducing stress in your life is made easy if you practice any of these…just get rid of all your hang-ups and try them already!
Supplements which can help with muscle recovery:
What method has worked best for your muscle recovery? Please leave a comment below…