How to Recover and Relax After a Workout
You did it—you made yourself get up, get out there, and give it all you’ve got. Now you deserve to reward your hard work with some indulgent R&R. It’s not only a matter of wanting to take it easy after an intense workout, your body needs time to properly repair itself before going back into action in order to minimize the risk of overuse injury.
Relax After a Workout
Here’s how to recover and relax your body (and mind!) after exercise. These strategies will help minimize pain and maximize motivation so you can continue to achieve your fitness goals.
Recovery begins before the workout ends
Workout recovery refers to the proper time and practices your body needs to adapt to exercise and grow from all the effort you’ve put in. We often can’t wait to kick off our training shoes and replace them with orthotic slides to give our sweaty feet a fresh gulp of air—but doing so too quickly can impede the repair process.
Don’t underestimate the cool-down process. While your muscles are still warm and pliable, you should make it a point to stretch them out and restore their elongated state. Otherwise, they’ll tense up due to the repetitive, strenuous contractions during exercise and cause you to feel far more stiff and sore the next day.
Reload and refuel with essential supplements
Once you begin to finally unwind, be sure to have your post-workout supplements ready in hand to accelerate your body’s recovery. ARMA protein complex is a great choice for any active person who wants to expediently repair their hard-working muscles.
It does an impressive job at minimizing inflammation before it becomes painfully tender and reloading your body with the critical nutrients it burned throughout your workout.
But remember that rest is a primary component of R&R; you can’t just pop a pill and expect to feel good without also allowing your body’s own process of natural healing. Sure, vegging out on the couch feels great, but don’t stay up too late binge-watching Netflix because sleep is absolutely critical to muscular improvement.
While your body shuts down during sleep, tissue cells regenerate to restore their vitality. If you’re having a hard time getting the critical rest you need, GABA for sleep can promote relaxation for more effective results overnight that leave you waking up noticeably impressed with your accomplishments.
And hey, daytime naps are another great way to speed up exercise recovery. You might see them as a sign of laziness, but they can actually improve alertness as well as overall physical and mental performance—so it’s no wonder why there’s a link between sleep and muscle strength.
Massages make the world go round
Getting a massage is one of the first things that comes to mind when you daydream of relaxing after exercise—and for good reason. Not only do they effectively target deep-rooted tension within your muscle tissue, but they also calm you down, lower your heart rate, and promote a state of much-needed tranquility.
But you don’t have to see a professional massage therapist to put pain at bay. You can also invest in a foam roller that you can use from home to relieve tense muscles. Massage guns, or percussion devices, are another effective way to increase blood circulation and improve flexibility.
Check out cryotherapy
This recovery method isn’t exactly relaxing, but it’s certainly revitalizing. The technique, which literally stands for “cold therapy”, involves exposing your body to extremely cold temperatures (between negative 200–300°F!) for several minutes.
Among many other benefits, cryotherapy speeds up exercise recovery times by reducing inflammation. People have been using cold compresses and ice baths to treat inflammation for ages, and this new science applies the same concept—but briefly submerges the entire body in an artic chamber to accelerate the repair of cellular damage.
For best results, you should hop in a cryo-chamber immediately after exercise, but you can still reap the same benefits for up to 24-48 hours following a strenuous workout. It’s one of the latest innovations on the fitness scene and definitely worth checking out if you can brave the chill for a few moments!
Always remember to rest, hydrate, and heal your body before putting it through more rigorous activity to avoid injury and feel at your best.