Five Ways to Maximize Your Post-Workout Recovery


Are you feeling depleted after your workout? Although proper recovery from exercise is a crucial part of any fitness routine, it’s often neglected.

Follow these tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle and finally make the progress you desire with your exercise routine.

Foam Rolling
Are you always sore or feel that you have tension built up in your muscles? Foam rolling could be the solution! Foam rollers are a popular mechanism for self-myofascial release, a manipulative treatment that aims to release tension in the fascia that can be caused by posture, trauma, or inflammation. One of the most basic benefits of foam rolling is to promote blood flow throughout the body and increase range of motion. As a result, this can decrease the chance of injury and lessen prolonged recovery time after a tough workout. Ideally, foam rolling should be performed both before a workout as part of a warm-up, and after a workout as part of a cool down.

Are you feeling lazy and unmotivated, or feeling the effects of a slowing metabolism? Although it may seem elementary, on average, many people get less than six hours of sleep each night. Sleep is essential so that your body can restore itself while in a resting state. Continuous sleep deprivation negatively impacts your training output and can even lead to weight gain. Research suggests that sleep deprivation increases the body’s cortisol level and leads to a decrease in the production of glycogen and carbohydrates that the body uses for energy during physical activity. Make sure you are getting sufficient sleep in order to maximize your hard work.

While many people understand the importance of consuming water both during exercise and post-exercise, hydration is often forgotten. Amongst many other benefits, water is important for muscle repair and growth, digestion, combating fatigue, and heart rate recovery. During intense exercise, you may experience minor muscle injuries or tears. In order to repair itself, your body needs to synthesize proteins. If your cells are being deprived of the almighty H2O, this process can be hindered. As a result, your body may start breaking down muscle tissue, making your muscles weaker! Stay hydrated to stay strong.

Active Recovery
There can be more to rest days than just sitting around on the couch. Rest days are imperative to avoid overtraining and burnout, as well as for faster recovery. The number of rest days necessary will depend on a person’s specific workout frequency and routine. Active recovery can reduce soreness and speed up the muscle-rebuilding process. The aim is to increase blood flow, metabolism, and joint movement. A workout incorporating active rest should be less intense than your normal routine. What you focus on during your active rest will vary from person-to-person. So don’t feel like you are missing out by not going 100 percent every day of the week. Rather, embrace the positive effects of resting and know that you’re contributing to your development.

Perhaps the most important factor could be your nutrition. What you consume before, during, and after your workout is undoubtedly important. As a general rule, consume your meals about two hours prior to exercise to ensure you maintain a nutritional balance throughout your day. Since digestion can be a lengthy process, whatever you eat prior to the workout will most likely be in the body afterwards. It’s important to make ensure you are consuming high-quality lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Generally, the purpose of post-workout nutrition is to replenish energy stores, increase muscle size/quality, and repair any damage caused by your workout. Regardless of your nutritional knowledge, it’s always advisable to consult with a Registered Dietitian to properly address nutrition as it relates to your specific body type and workouts goals.

  By Maddie Chamberlin, Personal Trainer at PRO Club

Personal Trainer Maddie Chamberlin is experienced in designing functional training exercises to help her clients perform daily activities with ease and without injury. She has an extensive background in sports and incorporates this knowledge into her training, creating an individualized program to challenge, motivate, and excite her clients.

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