Recovering from Exercise
One of the things that makes keeping a regular exercise routine difficult is the recovery period – it’s not so much the exertion of going for a run as the knowledge of the exhaustion and aching muscles to come. If you learn how to recover from exercise better and quicker, then you can approach your next run, swim or gym session with less trepidation and more enthusiasm!
Today we’re taking a look at how you can recover faster and better, and feel more confident about getting started with a regular fitness routine.
Warming Up, Warming Down
One of the most important things you can do for your recovery starts before you exercise! Warming up gets your body for the strain you’re about to put on it, so you don’t go in cold.
Think about the muscle groups you’re going to be using – running puts stress on your hamstrings and calves, for example, and weight lifting can work different groups depending on the weights you choose and how you use them. If you need to, do some research to see where you’re putting the stress and how you can warm those muscles up to prepare them for hard work.
It’s also worth starting your routine with some lower intensity activities after your stretches – don’t start into a sprint. Take a short, brisk walk to begin raising your heart rate and metabolism, then start to work harder.
One of the reasons you suffer from muscle aches and fatigue after exercise is because you’re dehydrated. Working out uses up your fluid reserves, and the vital electrolytes stored within them, so to aid your recovery, you need to find the best rehydration method to suit your needs.
Isotonic sports drinks are popular for many, because they contain the same balance of salts that your body needs, but they also have lots of flavourings and sugar, making them less useful if you’re working out to aid weight loss.
Rehydration tablets and powders dissolve in tap water and provide that same mix of rehydrating fluids and electrolytes but without the additional dose of glucose, so it’s well worth adding them to your gym bag.
The best thing you can do to ensure you recover quickly from work outs is start small and then scale up as your strength and endurance improve.
If you start too big – flat out running miles at a time, lifting weights well above your strength and experience, swimming a hundred lengths your first time in the pool – you risk hurting yourself, you risk burning out on exercise before you’ve established a routine.
If you’ve not committed an exercise regime before, even starting with a daily walk can help to build up your muscles and endurance, ready for a workout that can support your health in the long term.