Are you an avid workout fanatic? Do you like to be able to have those intense workout sessions on a regular basis? If so then you may feel as though you’re being held back some days thanks to sore, tired, and tight muscles.
Muscle recovery is typically something that takes a few days, but you don’t always want to wait those few days, and at the same time you don’t want to feel in pain for days at a time.
The good news is there are things you can do that will speed up and enhance your post-workout muscle recovery. What this means is less downtime thanks to sore muscles. Here are three natural ways you can achieve post-workout muscle recovery.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
One of the easiest tips is to make sure you're getting enough sleep, especially after an intense workout. So, what is "enough" sleep? Experts state that seven to eight hours is ideal, and that should be nightly not just after a workout session. This will give your body the time it needs to recover, which also helps to prevent any future workout-related injuries.
You can also take things one step further and invest in a high-quality mattress that gives your body the support it needs. Memory foam is a great option to sleep on as it works to “hug” your body and relieve any pressure points you may have. It also encourages proper spine alignment.
If you're the type that gets sweaty while you sleep, thereby finding it difficult to stay asleep, be sure to look at the gel-infused memory foam options. These are great at keeping your body cool, which increases the comfort level.
Water Is Your Best Friend
Hydration is also key to muscle recovery. You should make sure that you are hydrated before you work out, and then immediately following your workout. While you are working out you will likely be sweating, which can lead to muscle dehydration.
As soon as this happens, pain sets in. Keeping your muscles hydrated will help prevent that pain. Water also helps to flush out any toxins that can become dislodged during an intense workout.
You can even switch things up and make sure you're hydrated with water before your workout, and then follow it up with chocolate milk - yes chocolate milk. There is plenty of research that shows chocolate milk is one of the best muscle recovery aids out there.
Reach for the Ice or Heat
Then there is the ice pack, which is another excellent tool in helping with post-workout muscle recovery. Ice can help to reduce inflammation, which leads to pain. Inflammation is quite common if you overdo it and really push yourself. As well, if you suffer an acute injury during your workout, ice will help with the recovery time.
On the flip side, heating pads can be just as beneficial in a different way. Heat is great for muscles that ache and are sore. The heat works to dilate your blood vessels, which then allows your blood to flow easier.
This is ideal if your muscles feel locked, tight, or have a spasm. Keep in mind, if you’re going to use heat you need to stay hydrated. This is more the case if you’re using a sauna, hot tub, or a hot shower to soothe the muscles.
Get the Relief You’re After
Each of these tips will naturally enhance your post-workout muscle recovery without having to reach for any medications or topical creams. This means you’ll feel great and be back working out in no time at all.
Bonus: Consider Compression Garments
Runs can put a lot of stress on your leg muscles. The constant pounding of your foot on the hard ground can lead to ankle soreness, shin splints, and inflammation. If you love to run during your workouts, consider wearing compression socks to help reduce the strain on your legs.
Compression socks, stockings, or tights also aid in promoting blood circulation on the legs, which can help reduce muscle fatigue, encourage faster muscle recovery, and boost your workout. Plus, compression socks may also offer extra support to the arch and ankle and serve as “shin guards” for strength training and running exercises. Outside the gym, you can also wear compression socks to help your legs recover.