Whether you’ve just started working out you might be noticing a bit of muscle soreness. If you’re working out regularly, showing your body a little love is really important to help you bounce back and to get stronger.
Recovery is about much more than just the repair of your muscles too. When you work out, multiple parts of your body are affected, and each of these parts recover at slightly different paces. With changes going on in your neurological, hormonal and structural systems, to feel your best, it is a good idea to dedicate time to recovery. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to speed up this process.
These are a couple of ways you can help your body to recover from a workout.
Get some magnesium
There are lots of reasons your body needs magnesium! While it helps with cramping and general muscle soreness, magnesium can also help to calm your nervous system. That can lead to a better sleep too, which your body needs when it has been working hard! Magnesium can be found in bananas, spinach, kale, almonds, sunflower seeds and fish, so eating these foods may help relieve sore muscles. That can help you to move a little easier the next time you work out.
For a little extra magnesium, you can also use epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). When you add epsom salts to your bath, you can actually absorb the magnesium through your skin. Plus, the warm water can feel really soothing on a sore body.
Make time for rehabilitation
When you’re already feeling stiff and sore, I know the idea of stretching probably isn’t that appealing, but stretching can be really helpful for muscle recovery. It can reduce muscle stiffness, which means you may have the same range of motion as you did before you started exercising, while also helping to reduce muscle soreness.
You already know how much I love my foam rollers. Sore muscles and joints can be the result of “knots” in your fascia and foam rolling can help to break this tension up. There are many foam rolling benefits, particularly when it comes to recovery.
Have a snack!
Eating something after a workout can be an effective way to restore your energy and to help build your muscles back up as well. Try to add a little protein to your snack, because this can provide your body with amino acids. These are needed by your body to repair muscle fibres that have been damaged during a workout.
A snack with protein can fill your tummy, which is good if you always feel hungry after a workout. I know some of you girls like to have a protein shake after you workout, but remember you can always choose protein-rich foods or drink too. For a quick recharge, you can make a post-workout protein smoothie or one of my favourite post-workout snacks is a tuna sandwich. Don’t forget to rehydrate as well. Your body needs to replenish fluids lost through sweating, so make sure you drink water too.
Remember: balance is important
It can be frustrating if you have tried all of these things and you still feel like your body isn’t recovering as fast as it should. If you have recurring soreness, joint pain or sore feet, it might be worthwhile to speak to your healthcare professional to make sure you haven’t suffered an injury.
If you’ve been sick or you are recovering from an injury, you need to give your body time to heal. Try not to push yourself too hard, too fast!
Planning for recovery is just as important as planning for workouts! If you want to get fitter and stronger, it means dedicating some time to caring for your body once you have finished your workouts. Try these tips if you want to try and speed up recovery and feel ready to jump into your next workout!