When people take a break from training due to holidays, injuries, or busy schedules, or move up to a more intense training program they might experience some muscle soreness, stiffness or fatigue. Dedicating some time for recovery is very important. When we work out or run, multiple parts of our body are affected. and each of these parts recover at different paces. Making changes in our training schedule and intensity creates changes in our neurological, hormonal and structural systems. To take care of our body to help with recovery will speed up the process and lower the chances of injuries.
1. Get more sleep: Getting more sleep helps with recovery, protein synthesis, muscle repair, strength and build up.
2. Light protein snack before bedtime: Consuming a bit of protein before bed allows our body to keep repairing the muscles overnight (unless you’ve had a late dinner).
3. High protein breakfast: This type of breakfast provides our body with the necessary nutrients to keep rebuilding and repairing our muscles.
4. Post-workout snack: After a training session it is very important to consume a snack or meal with a combination of protein and carbs to restore your energy and help repair your muscles. It is important to have some protein which provides your body with amino acids, these are essential to repair muscle fibres.
5. Magnesium: There are lots of benefits from taking some magnesium supplements. Magnesium helps with muscle cramping and soreness, it also helps to calm our nervous system. Magnesium also helps to get better sleep, which our body needs for muscle recovery. To get some natural magnesium you can eat bananas, spinach, kale, almonds, sunflower seeds and fish.
6. Drink lots of water: Dehydration can cause greater muscle damage and reduce the body’s ability to repair itself.
7. Foam rolling: Using a foam roller will help release the muscles and fascia (connective tissue) that become knotted after exercising. Sel-myofascial release will help remove those knots and prevent muscle imbalances from forming.
8. Get a massage: A massage helps break up scar tissue and reduce stiffness associated with muscle repair.
9. Take a bath: Taking a bath with Epsom salts which contains magnesium will help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.
10. Eat anti-inflammatory foods: Foods such as salmon, dark leafy greens, tart cherry juice, olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar, berries and fruits, nuts and seeds, beets, spices like turmeric and ginger will all help reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
When you feel muscle stiffness and pain the day after a training session, it is very important to move and stretch to activate the blood flow and help with the muscle recovery. Otherwise, if you don’t, the second day you will feel even more soreness.
Train Hard, Eat Right, Look After your Body and Feel Great!