Yesterday you went all out on your exercise, pushed yourself above and beyond your limits and now…it hurts to walk up and down the stairs, you can’t sit down without sounding like a 90-year-old and you can’t continue with your workout routine. So what do you do?
Getting a good sleep, that is at least 8 hours long, will give your body time to repair itself. It’s very important that you allow for your body to recover otherwise you will become more prone to injuries, or further damage any pre-existing injuries, leading to longer down-time and more pain (Who wants that?).
You can provide more rest time by alternating your workout, focusing on different muscle groups throughout the week. Try to have at least 48 hours of recovery period between each worked muscle group, this will allow for sufficient rest.
Eating the right food is extremely important for recovery and general wellbeing, as it gives your body the right nutrition to repair and heal itself. You need a good range of all types of food including:
Carbs, for example, bread, beans and potatoes. Carbs are a great source of energy that can help fuel your body throughout the day.
Protein, for example, fish, poultry and eggs. Protein helps to power your body and carry oxygen around. It also helps retain and gain muscle, even when trying to lose weight. Not only this, protein strengthens your bones and increases your metabolism. Plus, protein is brilliant in the fight against infections and illnesses, accelerating tissue growth where injured and reduces inflammation. Protein is key on the road to recovery.
Fats, for example, red meat, nuts and avocados. Fats store energy, helping to absorb vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, D and E, and keeps your body nice and insulated.
Fruit and vegetables, for example, apples, bananas and carrots. Fruits and veg are great for increasing your vitamin and mineral intake. They are also a good source for fibre as well as carbs and fat. Not only this, but they are great for the maintenance of your general health and they can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
All of these are essential, not only for a healthy balanced diet, but also for a strong immune system and strong body. This can help to improve your recovery time so you can be back up and running in no time.
WARM UP & COOL DOWN
If you are recovering, it’s best to rest at the beginning and then, slowly and carefully, work your way back into your routine. When exercising, it is very important to warm up and cool down properly (you should be doing this anyway), but now it is more important than ever.
Warm ups gets your blood flowing through your body. It also eases your muscles before exercising helping to prevent injuries or further harm to pre-existing damages.
Cooling down is also very important, this can include light exercises or stretches. You can also use props like a foam roller to ease your muscles. All of this can help recovery and relieving aches and pains that you might also be experiencing.
TAKE IT EASY
Listen to your body! There is a difference between discomfort and pain. Stop if you feel like it’s getting too much, better that than having a painful muscle rapture. Keep it safe rather than sorry, guys. But you also need to listen to your body before you start exercising at all. You might have overworked and overwhelmed your body too much and you just need a good rest day. That’s not being lazy that’s just taking care of your body.
Whether you’re a beginner to exercise or recovering from an injury, remember to do small increases in training intensity and volume overtime. You might feel fine after a week or two, but deep down your body might not have made its complete recovery, which normally takes about 6 to 8 weeks. Jumping in too quick and rapidly can lead to another injury. (Believe me, I should know.) It could quite possibly be worse than the one before! It takes a long time to become right again, your future self with thank you for going slow, it’s better that than an endless cycle of injuries.
GO TO A DOCTOR
Finally, if you have seriously injured yourself, go to a doctor. They can then help you based on your personal needs and recommend the best ways to recover for you.