Tag Archive for: athletic recovery

Exercise class with focus on woman holding a kettlebell in a squat positionn

5 Ways to Maximize Muscle Recovery After A Tough Workout

The steps you take after a workout impact your body as the moves you do during a workout.

No matter your fitness goals, you need to focus on muscle recovery after every workout.

Why You Should Care About Muscle Recovery

Many people make the mistake of continually working out, thinking that resting is a sign of weakness or failure.

The truth is that rest and recovery are crucial for building stronger muscles. Your body needs time to recharge in between workouts.

If you push yourself too hard, you’ll end up moving backward. It will take longer to reach your goals, and you may even end up with a severe injury that impedes your ability to work out at all.

Fortunately, you don’t have to completely revamp your fitness routine to get the muscle recovery your body needs. Adding a few extra steps into your daily routine will go a long way to improving your overall fitness.

5 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Recovery

Incorporating these five things into your workout routine will help you recover faster and get stronger.

1. Stretch after your workout

It’s tempting to hit the showers immediately after you get done working out. However, just a few minutes of stretching will decrease the muscle tension built up during your workout. As a result, you will feel less sore the next day. You’ll also reduce your risk of injury.

Ideally, you’ll spend 10 minutes stretching post-workout. But even just spending a minute or two stretching the primary muscles you worked on will go a long way toward improving your recovery time.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

This cannot be emphasized enough. Your muscles need water to recover and perform. You’ll have cramps, fatigue, and lower physical performance without it. Because you lose water when you sweat, drinking water during and after your workout is essential. Your body also needs electrolytes, which you can replenish through sports drinks, chocolate milk, or fruit.

3. Fuel with protein

Protein helps rebuild your muscles. Follow a challenging workout with a protein-filled snack, such as a protein bar, protein shake, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, or chicken. Aim for at least 20 grams (the equivalent of three eggs) with each meal to aid muscle recovery.

4. Get enough sleep

Don’t skimp on sleep the night before or after a tough workout. Your body needs sleep to do the vital work of repairing muscles. Aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Avoid alcohol, which can negatively impact your sleep quality.

5. Embrace the art of active rest

Your body needs time in between workouts to repair. So, don’t try to do back-to-back strength training workouts. Instead, schedule active rest days in between your hard workouts. Go for a walk, do some gentle yoga, ride your bike, or get in the pool. These types of activities will help stimulate the muscle recovery process without adding more strain to your recovering muscles.

Do Your Muscles Need Some Extra TLC? StretchSPOT Can Help!

Following the advice listed above can improve your overall recovery and prevent a lot of soreness.

But sometimes, that’s not enough to cut it, especially when you have a chronic condition or are training at a higher level of intensity.

StretchSPOT can help you get the deep stretch you need to stay active and enjoy your daily life, whether you need extra support as you train or are just looking for ways to increase your overall mobility.

Give yourself the gift of more flexibility and mobility. Book an appointment at StretchSPOT today!

basketball player on a doctor's table looking at a female doctor

3 Fast Ways to Heal from a Sports Injury

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, an elite athlete, or somewhere in the middle, getting a sports injury isn’t fun.

A sports injury can mean cutting your season abruptly short or missing out on precious training time for competitive athletes. For recreational athletes, getting injured can interfere with your health goals and cause problems in your personal life, especially if your injury makes it difficult to do routine tasks.

No matter the injury or your athletic status, you want to heal from it fast. We have some ideas that can help you get there.

1. Follow the RICE method

Use the RICE method for soft tissue injuries, which include pulling a muscle or spraining a ligament.

Rest: Resist the urge to “muscle through” an injury. Give your body the break it needs.

Ice: Ice can reduce swelling and inflammation. Apply an ice pack to the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time. Repeat this process 4 – 8 times a day. Don’t forget to wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid burning your skin.

Compression: Within 48 hours of getting injured, apply compression to limit swelling.

Elevation: Keep the injured limb elevated to reduce swelling. For lower limb injuries, your ankle should be above your hip. For upper limb injuries, you can elevate the area using a sling or pillow.

2. Get a professional opinion

It’s always a good idea to see your doctor when you get injured. Your doctor can tell you what, exactly, you injured and provide a treatment plan for your recovery, which might include physical therapy. Make sure to follow it carefully to ensure that you don’t re-injure yourself or become active too soon.

While a muscle strain will heal itself with time, other injuries are not so easy to manage on your own. If you think you could have broken a bone or suffered another serious injury, don’t hesitate to visit urgent care or the emergency room.

3. Eat a healthy diet

You can’t work out, so now’s the time to order takeout and binge on cookies, right? Wrong. (Unfortunately.)

When your body is injured, it needs all the nutrients it can get to heal. Many sports injuries are caused by inflammation, so you want to eat anti-inflammatory foods.

Make sure you get plenty of lean protein, vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Fueling with fiber-rich foods can keep you feeling full and promote good digestion, which is critical if your injury limits your mobility.

Prevent Future Injuries at StretchSPOT

Once you’re back in the game, it’s important to take steps to avoid future injuries. Stretching before and after workouts can be an excellent way to stay healthy and avoid injuring your muscles.

At StretchSpot, we work with anyone in the South Bay who wants to live an active lifestyle. Our specialists can develop a customized stretching program to keep you limber and healthy while preventing future injuries. Schedule an appointment today to feel the difference quality stretching can make in your overall health.