How do you treat yourself after completing a heavy training session? Or should I say how do you treat your body? After studying the body in relation to exercise and sports nutrition at uni, I became fascinated in how the body adapts to so many different ways of recovery!
In an ideal world you should be taking the time to cool down and focusing on your recovery. This should include a regular regime to help the body recover, which includes what you eat, what you drink, how you stretch and even how you sleep ( I can hear all the ‘yeah rights’ from the mums with all the tiny people that party during the night!)
Here, I have highlighted 5 easy ways to give your body that little extra helping hand to recover post training and post a great BFM at home session!
1. You’ve emptied the tank, now to REFUEL IT!
Muscles build up their strength when we exercise as they are under stress! However to ensure the strength building occurs, you also need to refuel your muscles after all that bouncing about and sweat flying! Literally just like a car and hitting the pedal hard, you need to fill up the petrol again! A good way to do this is to ensure you eat something within half an hour after your workout. For some, this may be hard! But it can simply be as a small as a banana or a glass of milk! This is to kickstart that repair process immediately! This is the food side of things, now lets talk about the water! Rehydration is KEY in recovery and repair and if you sweat buckets like I do, it’s even more important!! STAY HYDRATED!
2. And sttrreettcchhhh!
I would say this is probably one area that most people need to get better at (I’m forever guilty!) Especially as mums when time in general is counted by every minute and second if you’ve little ones at home with you or somebody else is looking after them! However you should never miss cool downs and stretches! Stimulating the blood to flow through the muscles flushes out toxins and is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of muscle injury or stress. Again…something I know about!!
3. Do you need to say twice?! BATH TIME! (try not to add in the glass of wine!)
A hot bath or shower is my favourite part of recovery! Getting peace and quiet! ;) Oh and soothing tired muscles! I have recently started to use Epsom salts and magnesium flakes again which really do work wonders! The heat will help to stimulate the blood flow through the muscles and to aid the ‘flushing out’ of toxins. This in turn with help reduce the risk of muscle injury. Not only that but it means you can get a bath away from everyone in peace because your trainer says so! ;)
4. Counting all the sheep you can!
Now it might be easier said than done when you’ve tiny people about, however the NHS suggests eight hours of sleep a night as a minimum. Could we maybe wave that statement about to the rest of the family?! However you could include resting on the sofa as muscle recovery when you’re not ‘moving’ as such! Another great excuse I’m giving you to catch up on your favourite shows! As a mum, especially in the newborn stages, I was actually surprised on how much little sleep I could function on. Again, another reason why we ROCK!
5. Rest days… not to feared nor to feel guilty over!
In the past, I’ve been a prime example of over training with no rest days, due to crazy working hours in the gym. Trust me it’s no good! Overtime, physically your body will be saying no. Mentally you will be saying no and exercise will start to feel like a horrible chore if there’s no adequate rest days.
You need to rebuild your muscles! To start to see results and to get fitter, you need to factor in rest days every week! This will give your body the time to go from muscle recovery to muscle rebuilding. It will start to change and greatly appreciate the recovery! Walking is great in between training days! Mentally you’ll feel good to be moving, physically the muscles will feel great to be gently moving. The walking will help improve the circulation, reduce inflammation and make those love/hate DOM’S gradually ease!
Recovery in just as important as the days we train. Embrace them, enjoy them and establish that recovery regime!!
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12 Aug 2020