During, and directly after exercise, your body is breaking down fuels and tissues to create energy and force. This results in your body needing to repair itself, or recover.

Your bodу actually breaks down muѕсlе tissue as muscles extend and contract. Your heart rate and breathing rate become elevated as you replace oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from your system. Immediately following your workout, you liver begins the breakdown of lactic acid and your internal environment gradually begins the process of attempting to return itself to normal. Your blood is thicker than normal as you deal with the increased heat created by the physical activity. Water and electrolyte levels are reduced in the body due to sweating which can lead to cramping.

Here are some ways to maximize your recovery after workouts, which will, in turn, increase the effectiveness of your workout routine and reduce the risk of injuries.

Proper Hydration:
This is the first and most essential phase of recovery. Subsequent recovery phases aid in performance, but it is crucial that you replace lost fluid quickly. Dehydration can lead to reduced physical performance, and in more serious cases, can lead to hospitalization, illness, and even death. Make sure you address your fluid balance early. If you’re worried about getting the right amount of hydration, a good daily goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

Healthy Nutrition:
Your post workout meal is very important, as this is the a time when your muscles are craving for nutrients to rebuild with. Make sure to get a good dose of protein and healthy carbs within two hours after you finish your workout.

In order to allow our body the proper time to repair itself and optimize performance on subsequent efforts, it is important to allow our bodies time to rest. Ideally, we should be striving to achieve 7-9 hours of uninterrupted restful sleep each night. Sleep should never be overlooked in it’s ability to maximize the effectiveness of your workout. The body repairs itself when you sleep. If you want to speed up your post workout recovery, you need to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of sleep. Sleep has also been shown to decrease levels of stress hormones in the body, which has been linked to more effective and successful fat-loss.

A good, quick stretch immediately post-workout is highly beneficial. Your muscles have the greatest elasticity when they are warm. This will allow you to increase your range of motion. Stretching wіll also help you reduce or prevent muscle soreness and will make your muscles longer and more durable.

One of the best ways to enhance your rest and recovery phase of training is through sports massage. The first thing a massage will do for you is to bring your awareness back to your body. You will become aware of the places you are holding stress when you work out and the places that are unusually tight. You will learn to feel the difference between normal muscle soreness and injury soreness. The constant muscle contraction of exercise and sports cause micro-trauma in the tissue, which promotes adhesion. The massage will make the muscles and tissues more pliable, and will encourage flexibility, resilience, and better circulation.

Avoid Over-Training:
When you do a strength training workout, your muscles need time to recuperate and rebuild. This can take anywhere from 18-36 hours depending on the workout and your level of acclimatization or conditioning. Give your body the time it needs to recover.

Recovery is your body’s way of repairing itself in response to some form of mental, physical, or physiological stress. Proper recover will result in significant improvements in your overall fitness level, serve as a stimulus for fat loss, and rejuvenate your muscles, joints, and your mind. This allows your body to be fully prepared to take on your future challenging workouts, and the challenges of every day life!

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