Ushering Post-Workout Recovery
You've put on your best jogging shoes, your favorite music is pumping, and you're in the zone to kill that workout! You go hardcore for weeks on end. However, the next day, you feel something is wrong. You ignore it and go for your next workout, but you feel you're not as efficient as you used to be. Your strength is starting to wane away. Why is this happening to me, you might be inclined to think. The answer probably lies in the way you recover. Don't have a recovery routine? Read on to find out what you can do to kill it in your workout every day, with appropriate rest.
Essentially, there are 6 questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you train, recover, and train harder. Let's take a deeper dive into the specifics.
Question 1: Do you stretch after a workout?
Sports scientists, gym trainers, and fitness enthusiasts all across the globe say stretching is important, and they have left no stone unturned to communicate the same. However, sometimes we just overlook it.
Stretching is important since after your workout, the muscles are in a state of frenzy, and putting it to rest immediately might strain them. It is advised to slowly bring the muscles to rest with a little stretching. It will go a long way in your recovery and prep you up for the next workout.
Question 2: is your post-workout meal planned?
The famous saying in the fitness arena goes: " Working out is 30% exercise, 70% diet". Your post-workout meal is the holy grail to a successful workout in total since, if the diet after your workout isn't befitting the exercise, it undoes most of your sweating out in the gym, or the running tracks, or even if you workout from home. A high-protein diet is advised, but this does not mean you abstain from fat-rich foods in reasonable quantities. You should not deprive yourself, but neither should you indulge in excess. Balance and planning are pivotal factors for a perfect post-workout diet.
Question 3: After a run, do you continue with your training or reduce your training intensity?
Running is a high-intensity activity. Once you have concluded running, never should you keep training with the same intensity, no matter what sports shoes you think you might be wearing! No matter how strong you think you are, give yourself a little rest between workouts. Adopt the technique of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) . Train with high intensity for a few minutes, give a minute's break to yourself and go back to training intensely. This stop-start motion makes your body rugged and helps deal with stressful physical conditions as well.
Question 4: Do you consider sleep to be less important of an exercise than a workout?
One of the most common mistakes fitness enthusiasts tend to make is to fit everything into the routine, in conjunction with the time needed to work out - by doing this, they end up skipping a few hours of sleep. Criminal! As far as rest and relaxation of the body is concerned, it is crucial to get a good 6+ hours worth of sleep to reward yourself for a busy day and find yourself fresh and raring to go the next day. It is one of THE MOST VITAL ingredients for proper recovery.
Question 5: Do you end your workouts with a cool-down or an abrupt stop?
Ever heard about the law of inertia? Simply put, it states that objects in motion have a tendency to stay in motion and objects in rest have a tendency to rest. To bring about an abrupt change in the state, a large amount of force is required. If you translate this in terms of the body, when you're running and come to an abrupt halt, your body will overexert in trying to bring about that stop, which might end up hurting you. Hence, it is always advised to end workouts with a cool-down phase.
Question 6: Do you do foam rolling/yoga?
Fascia is the muscular connective tissue of the body: It holds everything together and acts as an elastic shock-absorber. Fascia training with a foam roller or a Black-roll, therefore, plays an important role after your full-body workout. Sometimes, intense body weight training or a tough running session causes the fascia to dehydrate. As a result, the fascia loses its elasticity and binds down, making the body more prone to injury.
Take up some yoga exercises, and if it sounds like too much of a hassle, motivate yourself with a '30-day yoga challenge'. It will soon enough become a part and parcel of your workout routine.
While these questions might appear basic, they are paramount to a healthy recovery process. Think again, and go through the steps. Follow them once, find a rise in your recovery rate, and plunge through better workouts for the days to come. Go get em', sport!