How to Recover After A Hard Workout
It's the first Monday of the year aka the one day of the year where just about EVERYONE is working out. On my way to Tone House this morning everyone was in some sort of workout apparel. Since this week is probably the first week of getting back in the swing of things after the holidays for most people, I thought I'd help you guys with some tips on how to recover so you won't be sore or walking like the Tin Man all week. Do these and thank me later!
The Must Dos:
- After you workout, don't rush out. Stay for the cool down. It helps bring your heart rate back to normal, helps remove lactic acid, and prevents blood pooling in the large muscles of the legs.
- Drink water. You've just sweated A LOT. Replace what you sweated out. Even getting the slightest bit dehydrated can mess with your metabolism.
Replenish with simple carbs or a recovery drink. I usually grab a banana or Vega Recovery Accelerator. Research has shown that a 4 to 1 ratio of simple carbohydrates to protein which helps prepare the muscles to absorb more complex nutrients (i.e. protein and fat).
- Follow that with a real meal. Try to eat 45-60 minutes after your workout. Obviously I would recommend a meal with a plant based protein and leafy greens. I usually make a smoothie with Vega Protein (the vanilla is my fav), spinach, cherries (great for preventing soreness), bananas (replenish potassium), maca (helps with replenishing your adrenals) and water.
- Foam Roll. Do it right after if your gym has a foam roller or at night when you are watching tv. I foam roll just about every night and can feel it when I skip it. Not sure how to foam roll? Check this article out.
- Compression socks. I know there's a lot of back and forth about if compression gear actually works but I think nothing feels better then putting on some compression socks after a hard workout. I'm currently WAY into these 2XU Recovery Compression socks. Even better if you can find a pair of Norma-Tec compression leg sleeves.
- Cold Soak. This helps reduce muscle swelling and soreness, flush lactic acid out of the body, return oxygenated blood to muscles and recover faster. I take advantage of Tone House's cold soak tub just about every time I take a class. If you don't have access to a cold soak tub, nothing beats a good old fashioned ice bath!
- Epsom salt bath. I love a good hot epsom soak 60-90 minutes before I go to bed. The warm water makes so sleepy and relaxed and feels amazing on my muscles. You can read all about the benefits of an epsom salt bath here.
Hope everyone's new year is off to an awesome start!