5 Tips For Improving Recovery Time.
Improving Recovery is an essential part of any training programme or workout regime. In fact, it’s arguably the most important element.
What’s the difference between adequate rest and improving recovery?
We all know that we need rest days and plenty of sleep but there is more to recovery. And if you really want to make progress and decrease your recovery time you are going to have to see the recovery process as part of your workout regime. Having a rest day or two during the week simply isn’t enough and there’s a huge difference between rest and recovery.
Simply put, rest is defined as inactivity, while recovery is defined as returning to a better state. Rest is the period between workout sets which allows you to catch your breath and allows your muscles to restore energy known as ATP (kind of the muscles energy currency).
Once you have spent all your ATP, your muscles need to rest and restore your ATP before being able to contract.
Rest is also important in clearing hydrogen ions which cause that burning sensation in the muscles after prolonged exercise.
Recovery is what you do after your workout. It’s the time you are sat in front of the tv, at work, out with friends, eating, drinking, and sleeping. Pretty much any time you are not training, you are recovering.
It is therefore, probably the most important part of your workout regime. It all comes down to what you do during that recovery period to facilitate muscular growth, weight loss, endurance, strength, mobility and so on. Here are five tips to optimise your recovery period.
1. Active Rest (Improving recovery)
Yes, that’s right, there’s that word again, “Rest”. This doesn’t mean do nothing until your next workout though, this is active rest. This is an opportunity for you to go for a nice walk or an easy bike ride if the suns out. You could even get the Yoga mat out and have fifteen minutes of yoga or Pilates or even some simple active stretches. You may want to go for a walk in the comfort of your own home. Take a look at our range of Treadmills, or take the pressure of your joints and have a look at our excellent range of Crosstrainers.
Keep track of your steps with our JLL Fitness watch in a wide range of colours.
It’s just important that it’s something that you enjoy. Nobody wants to spend there well-earned recovery day doing too much of something they don’t like doing.
It goes without saying that you need to drink water after a workout. When you train, you sweat, when you sweat you lose water. Drinking water before, during and after a workout is important to regulate body temperature and lubricate your joints. Water is also essential in the transportation of important nutrients which aid in recovery.
Drinking 2 litres of water is a good number to aim for throughout the day. Fill up a 2-litre Water Bottle and drink it throughout the day and get into the habit of drinking water with every meal. It also makes you feel great.
3. Eat high protein food
Protein is made up of amino acids, which act like the building blocks of the body. When you eat a protein rich meal after a workout it gives your muscles the amino acids necessary to repair and rebuild. Getting adequate protein is essential for in making long lasting change and improving recovery.
Protein rich foods include:
- Lean meats
For vegans and vegetarians, It can be hard to source the required protein to facilitate this muscle recovery. Try the protein rich plant-based foods.
- Legumes (Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans)
- Chia seeds
Massage is a great way to reduce tension in the muscles, increase mobility and reduce pain. It can be great to go and see a professional sports massage therapist. But you can get great results from a foam roller or your own two hands. You can even get massage chairs that do all the work for you.
Massage chairs are a great luxury item to add to your home gym to help improve the recovery process. If you want to recover in pure luxury Check out the JLL M200 or M300. If a massage out of your price range, why not try a Foam Massage Roller to relieve the tension and give your muscles a a well deserved massage.
At the end of the day, we all need sleep. Getting enough can sometimes be difficult but getting good quality sleep is a good way to power the recovery process. During the deeper parts of the sleep cycle, you muscles see an increase of blood flow which brings much needed oxygen and nutrients to the muscles that require all the amino acids you have eaten after your workout, in the form of protein.
Tips for good quality sleep:
- Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed. (TV, Computer, and smart phones)
- Ensure your last meal was at least 2 hours before getting into bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and clean.
- Be consistent! Going to bed at the same time every night will train your brain to know that that’s the time to shut off.
- Sleep for at least 8 hours.
- You can also try using one of our JLL Acupressure Mat Sets, proven to relieve stress, tension headaches and of course, improve sleep.
Follow these tips, emphasise your recovery period, and make long lasting change. Have a look at some of our items that will help you in the road to recovery.
Check out our range of yoga and recovery equipment to aid you in improving recovery.