After doing the actual work, recovery is probably the most important part of working out. Without it, there are no gains, and your performance won’t enhance. It’s during rest that the body rebuilds the muscle cells necessary to make your muscles stronger and bigger.
Unfortunately, not enough understand how recovery works, and they usually don’t have a plan. But there are tons of things that you can do starting today that will allow you to recover faster and better. Here are 5 strategies for enhancing post-workout muscle recovery.
Divide Between Up and Down Days
A lot of people still do whole-body workouts every time they go to the gym. This is probably one of the worst things when it comes to recovery, and doesn’t benefit gains.
What you should try instead is to alternate between upper body, lower body days, and rest days. By working upper body muscles one day, and lower body muscles the other day, you allow your body to rest while you work out. Follow two days of exercise by one day of rest. This way, your upper body will have had 2 days to rest before it’s time to start over again.
Another thing you could do is some lower body cardio on upper body rest days, and some light upper body workout on your lower body days. Light upper body cardio could be some light work on a punching bag or some mitt work. You can switch to something like cycling when you’re working on your upper body.
Get a Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses are one of the best types of mattresses if you want a speedy recovery and fast relief from injuries and discomfort. What makes a memory foam mattress such a great choice is that it adjusts itself to your body weight and the heat your body emits.
Parts of the mattress that are hotter begin to soften, which provides relief to areas that emit the most heat, such as injuries and aching muscles. It also hugs the body to spread the body weight and make sure that no part of your body is under stress. This article from Shape gives a good picture of the best memory foam mattresses for all types of sleepers, and it should be a good direction for your choice too.
If you’re doing strength exercises, it’s important that you refuel if you want your body to be able to rebuild muscle cells. It’s the protein in your food that will rebuild damaged tissue, which will then lead to bigger muscle as the damage heals and creates scar tissue.
This is why it’s important that you have a nice meal after your workout or a meal replacement. This should have some high-quality carbohydrates to replenish your energy reserves, and protein to rebuild muscle. It should be taken at least 60 minutes from the end of your workout.
Get a Massage
Massage therapy is another great way to ease muscle tension and improve recovery. For one, there are few things that are more relaxing than a massage after a tough workout day. But what makes massages so great is that they stimulate blood circulation to the affected muscles, which brings with it all the nutrients needed for recovery.
Sleep is truly magic when it comes to muscle growth. This is when most of our human growth hormones are secreted. Human growth hormones don’t only boost muscle gains and strength, but they help you stay young longer and accelerate recovery. So, if you can, try to add 1 or 2 hours to your sleep if you want to get all the benefits.
Recovery is not something you can neglect if you’re trying to make some gains and improve endurance. So, make sure that you give all these strategies a closer look, and see how you could use them to make your workouts more efficient.