Exercising regularly brings countless benefits. But, if you skip recovery, muscle soreness might get in the way of being physically active and the good things that come with it. Allowing your muscles to rest properly after you’ve put them to work will keep you feeling good and help you stay on track. Here are some tips:
The more flexible you are, the more you can bend and move without fear of tearing or pulling something. Static stretches like pulling your heel to your glutes to stretch your quadriceps and touching your toes to stretch your hamstrings are a great way to boost your flexibility and cool down post-exercise. Plus, they just feel good. For a solid static stretch, hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
REPLENISH WITH H2O
In one hour of intense exercise, your body can lose as much as a quart of water—particularly if you’re hot and sweating a lot. Staying hydrated before and after a workout can help stave off post-exercise woes because water helps cushion your joints and it carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, helping your body get rid of waste. In addition to drinking plenty of H2O throughout the day, you can get extra hydration from other sources, including fruits, vegetables and fat-free milk. Water enhanced with electrolytes can also boost hydration benefits.
GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP
Just like your muscles, your body needs regular rest and recovery to stay strong and healthy and keep functioning. Consistently getting 7-8 hours of quality snooze-time every night allows your body to heal and recharge. To sleep easy and sleep well, exercise regularly, make sure your room is quiet and dark and avoid using your cell phone or watching TV in bed. If you still have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night, a melatonin supplement can help support restful slumber.
GIVE YOUR BODY THE NUTRIENTS IT NEEDS
Whether it’s a long walk or 30 minutes of laps in the pool, physical activity of any kind requires your muscles to work harder than normal. Supplying them with the energy and nutrients they need to function properly will ensure they keep doing what you want them to do. Consuming a combination of carbohydrates and protein after working out replenishes your body with nutrients essential to your muscles and their recovery. Adding a scoop of whey protein to a fruit smoothie or grabbing a ready-to-drink whey protein shake is a tasty and easy way to give your body the protein it needs right after you exercise.