This article deals exclusively with regeneration after having undergone intensive sports training. One might say that the break afterwards is almost as important as the training itself.
I will show you 5 easily understandable tips about how to foster the recovery phase of your muscles in a natural way.
Possibly, you will achieve your fitness target even faster!
Regular and intensive training is the key to a well-structured body and highest physical fitness. If you want to achieve your best possible shape and avoid injuries at the same time, you will have to give your muscles some time to relax.
With the right approach, you can maximize the results of the recovery phase and improve your shape within a remarkably short time.
No matter whether you train at home or in the gym with a personal trainer: It is of utmost importance to allow your body sufficient time for the best recovery possible. After intensive training, you muscles need some time to relax and get used to new movements.
Any fitness enthusiast knows how important adequate fluid intake is, especially before, during and after intensive, physical activity. Here, it is important to drink enough in order to avoid muscle fatigue, damages and other complications.
Unfortunately, there are many athletes who focus on drinking water only before training. They forget that drinking water is also important after the training has been completed. Others, on the contrary, have a bad habit of drinking water only when they’re thirsty. It is strongly recommended to not follow this habit.
Drink lots of water after training to reduce the risk of strains, tears and other sport-related injuries. Sports drinks, containing electrolytes, can also be helpful after training. Chocolate milk has repeatedly been recommended to be a good recovery drink after practice; however, there is no better remedy to keep your body hydrated than water.
It has been clear for a considerable time that relaxation is crucial for mental as well as physical health. However, it is less well known that lack of sleep can seriously affect the progression of your muscle recovery as well as your overall sports performance.
According to a study from 2008, sleep deprivation has a negative impact on the recovery, as natural processes of the body get suppressed.
If you want to avoid practice-related complications, you will have to get eight hours of undisturbed sleep after training. If your schedule allows it, try taking a few naps during the week. Wait up to two hours after training and treat yourself with a short 20-minute nap. This will not only support the recovery of the muscles, but also improve your nocturnal sleep.
Protein is the most important muscle repair nutrient and may therefore not be missed in your diet. Although there are smoothies with nutritional supplements on the market, you should try making a habit of eating daily protein from holistic groceries like eggs, Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese and lean meat. These versatile ingredients are great snacks and proper lunches at the same time, having a great effect on muscle regeneration.
Eating a high-protein snack before bedtime needs to be taken into consideration. It will help your muscles recover during the night. The essential amino acids that are metabolized from this particular macronutrient, increase muscle mass and reduce sensation of pain, which you would probably feel the following day. What is more, protein intake is important before and after training.
As a rule of thumb, take a resting period of 48 hours between training. Of course, this is not universally valid and serves just as a general guideline. There is enough room for adjusting your rest days to your personal needs and preferences.
During your rest days it is crucial to put stretching exercises into your daily routine. Although it may seem to be torture in the beginning, it will soon turn into a habit that helps your muscles recover, when done on a regular basis. Depending on age and fitness level, it could be that you might need more time for regeneration. In this case, active rest days are suitable. Think about simple exercises like Yoga and Tai-Chi. They fulfill several purposes:
= You don’t lose sight of your fitness target
= You can relax and
= you will find new energy at the same time
Beware of pain and injuries: In this case it’s best to skip training until you feel 100% comfortable again.
Scientific research suggests taking a cold bath when increased muscle tone and fatigue become too heavy to deal with. Although the idea of dipping your aching body into cold water after an intensive training seems to be frightening, it helps indeed reducing pain and inflammations for 24 up to 48 hours. Also ice serves as an anesthetic. The affected area is numbed, which, in turn, facilitates the recovery significantly.
A further remedy for aching areas after training consists of
= 2 tablespoons honey
= juice of 3 lemons
Mix both ingredients and warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and apply it on the aching muscles. It is a rather unusual method; nevertheless, lots of people swear by it.
In order to help your muscles recover, obey these rules:
= Stay well hydrated at any time
= Do regular stretching exercises
= Take care of your diet – don’t forget to take in protein before and after training
= Adjust your rest days to your personal needs and fitness level
= Don’t be scared to dive into cold water
It is not hard to follow these tips. Surprise yourself by achieving your fitness target earlier than expected. What’s your best regeneration method? Let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading,
Your Natural AthletX Team
Jürgen is Founder und CEO of Natural AthletX, loves Crossfit, Soccer and und good food.