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How to Recover After an Intense Workout
Most of us can relate to feeling sore after an especially intense workout. We may have gone to the gym and tried a new workout, gave a little too much, or just didn't know our limits. Then the next day we are feeling the burn. Our muscles are sore, and our body is aching in places we never knew existed until today. We usually find ourselves begging for relief as we are dragging ourselves to work the next day. There are a few tips you can follow in order to help speed your recovery and get you back to your workout routine a little bit quicker.
Try to stay moving
This sounds terrible when it hurts to move, but if you are able to stand a little light exercise it can help you recover faster. Remember to listen to your body and keep it light. You could try some easy walking or swimming, anything that is not too intense. You need to wait until your muscles are fully repaired before you jump back into any intense exercise. This will usually take about three days, but everyone is different. Therefore, you need to be aware of all the signals your body is sending.
Eat the right foods to repair your muscles
There are certain foods and nutrients that can speed up the recovery process. According to research studies done in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine and the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine you should eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, avocados, and almonds. It has been revealed that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, which is most likely what is causing your muscle soreness. Muscle soreness may also be a sign of dehydration, so it is very important to drink water to combat this.
Switch up hot and cold baths
Alternating hot and cold therapy is a tried and true method many use. It is not the most comfortable method to use, but it does work. You have to rotate between hot water baths and ice cold baths, spending a minute in each bath. According to Terri Walsh, a celebrity fitness trainer, the cold bath acts as a natural analgesic, which soothes your muscles and then the hot bath works to relaxes them. If you prefer you can apply heat and ice packs instead to get the aforementioned results.
Get enough sleep
During sleep, our bodies repair themselves. We need to make sure we get enough sleep to help repair our muscles faster. If you are able to, you should try to take naps throughout the day. However, it may be difficult for most of us to take breaks from our hectic schedules, so you should at least try to get eight hours of sleep to help your body recover.
When you push yourself too far during your workout, you can be sure that you will feel it the next day. However, do not let this discourage you from exercising. You need to learn from your experiences and get to know your limits. You need to allow your body to heal by following some of our tips and move on. You should never let this feeling give you the excuse you are looking for to quit your fitness routine.