5 Ways to Recover After Working out
Extensive training (or just trying new sports) can give you intense muscle soreness. But there are plenty of ways to numb the pain after a workout. These are five of our top tips!
1. STRETCH IT OUT
Although the benefits of a pre- and post-workout stretch are inconclusive, regular stretching helps to reset your body to a natural position and posture. If you’re experiencing discomfort after exercising, try holding a static stretch position (like touching your toes) for up to 30 seconds to get some temporary relief.
2. BUY A FOAM ROLLER
A foam roller can be used to self-massage muscles to relieve tension, and to sooth any post workout soreness. Available online or at fitness stores, these firm cylinders can work wonders on tough-to-get-at knots. If you need to relieve achiness immediately try rolling your body over a tennis ball – it can be an effective way to reduce pain.
3. REST YOUR MUSCLES
If you’ve got a goal in mind – a fitness challenge or a stylish event – it can be tempting to workout intensely in the run-up to it. But skipping rest days will do you more harm than good. For a start, pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries, but more importantly your muscles NEED to rest. When you lift weights your muscle fibres tear, repairing when your body rests; so, to get the full benefit of your workout, take some time off!
4. TAKE A COLD OR HOT BATH
A post-workout cold bath will constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. If your muscles are inflamed, injured or very sore after a particularly hard training session, an ice bath can offer effective relief. Heat on the other hand helps muscles relax, promoting blood flow to the area to eliminate minor pain and stiffness quickly.
5. HAVE LIGHT DAYS
Walking, swimming, yoga or light jogging can be performed at a low level of intensity to ease sore muscles. Called “active recovery,” this type of exercising stimulates blood flow to your muscles without straining them, and helps them repair before your next big workout! Try to book-in a rest day and an active recovery day between high intensity workout sessions for optimal results.