Rest to recover the body – this sounds simple, but are you incorporating the right recovery techniques?
Regular exercise is essential for a healthy and toned body. However, you would not be able to obtain maximum gains from exercise (especially high-intensity workouts), if it is not followed by adequate rest and recovery.
Recovery not only helps the body regenerate energy, but it also aids in reducing injury. So, how do we practice effective recovery techniques after intensive exercise? Read on to find out more.
1. Rehydrate After Exercise
Exercising can dehydrate the body – this is especially so for intense exercise. During exercise, your body loses water and mineral salts through perspiration. Drinking water or herbal tea with a blend of essential nutrients and antioxidants will help replenish water and protect the body from losing beneficial minerals.
2. Incorporate Stretching Exercises When Cooling Down
During exercise, most people often focus on building muscles and reducing excess fat, but forget that the muscles contract due to excessive pressure. Perform stretching exercises during cooldown such as hamstring stretches, thigh stretches, etc. to soothe your muscles after a workout. Stretching is extremely important for the body to recover better, increase flexibility, and reduce the possibility of injury.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
If you exercise regularly, you will understand how important it is to regulate your breathing to get the most out of your workout. Breathing exercises are also important to the recovery process. A simple but effective way of breathing is to inhale through the nose and hold your breath for 4 seconds. Then, exhale through the mouth for 4 seconds and repeat. Do this exercise for 5 minutes to relax and recover.
4. Take a Warm Bath
What could be better than soaking in warm water after a tiring workout? One natural ingredient you can add to your bath water to improve recovery is epsom salt, which helps to relieve pain and relax the muscles. Add a palm-sized amount to a hot tub and soak for about half an hour. The magnesium will help the body recover.
5. Drink a Protein Shake After Exercise
Diet plays an important role in your fitness regime. Taking protein supplements can help your body recover better. In addition, protein also aids in promoting muscle growth and makes the body stronger.
Rest can be divided into two categories: complete rest and rest with light exercise. It does not necessarily mean inactivity. During the week, besides factoring in intense training days, you need to schedule time for restorative activities like yoga or walking. These activities help reduce pressure on the body, while helping the mind to relax.
It is important to realize that constantly putting pressure on the body can have the opposite effect, such as weight gain or injury. So, schedule 1-2 days of complete rest a week to enjoy optimal results!