Your Ultimate Gym Recovery Guide
Why Is Recovery Important?
Recovery can be one of the most essential aspects of your entire workout routine. Numerous studies show the relationship between recovery and higher levels of performance. Adding recovery as a crucial part of your routine will allow you to perform to your maximum ability in your next workout.
Every time you exercise, microscopic tears in your muscle tissue occur. On recovery days, cells in your body will work to repair the tears in your muscle tissue. This repair phase will help your muscles grow and heal, ultimately resulting in stronger muscles overall.
If you fail to work recovery into your training schedule, this can lead to overtraining. Overtraining occurs if you do not allow enough time between training sessions for your body to rest and recover and has a negative impact on your performance or can lead to a higher risk of injury. Signs and symptoms of overtraining can include:
- Consistent pain or injury
- Loss of motivation
- Disturbed sleep
- Not eating enough.
If you are experiencing any of these signs of overtraining, it is important that you stop working out and rest your body until you have fully recovered. You can also seek treatments like going for a professional massage on the affected muscles, using hot and cold therapy with a heating pad, or taking a warm or cold bath to help soothe your muscles.
How Do You Recover Faster?
A question often asked when it comes to recovery is “how do I recover faster?”. There is no one answer or guide that will help everyone speed up their recovery, as each person’s body takes different amounts of time to recuperate. Recovery also depends on various factors such as the intensity of the workout or the types of muscles which need to be rested.
That aside, there are three key aspects to recovery which you should never skip: sleep, food, and hydration. Covering these three basic elements will allow you to recover faster and create a healthy routine. Once you have included these three basic elements in your recovery routine, you can begin to introduce supplements. Supplements may provide additional benefits, but will not work if you have not taken care of the three key aspects of recovery.
Sleep is the number one element of your recovery routine and should not be overlooked. The more intense the workout, the more sleep you will need. This is because every time you sleep, your body produces the Human Growth Hormone. The Human Growth Hormone is essential to allow your body to grow and repair the muscles in your body.
When you sleep, your body repairs the tears in your tissue that may have occurred when weight lifting or working out - this will help to increase your overall muscle mass. Sleep will also help to prevent muscle fatigue, which is essential to avoiding injuries during your next workout.
Food is essential to recovery, as eating right can help to speed up the muscle repair process. Healthy foods provide your body with vitamins and nutrients to ensure that you are properly fed and facilitate muscle building. The best type of foods for muscle recovery contain protein and carbohydrates.
As the proteins which make up your muscle fibres become damaged during a workout, consuming protein after a workout can help repair this damage. Foods such as chicken, eggs, chocolate milk, and quinoa are all high in protein and should be worked into your recovery diet.
Carbohydrates should also be central to your diet for recovery. Muscles store carbohydrates as glycogen - a form of energy which your muscles use as their primary source of energy during short, intense workouts. Foods such as rice and potatoes can help to restore the carbohydrates in your muscles to provide the energy to take you through your next workout.
Hydration is the final key element of recovering from a workout faster. If you are not getting enough water, dehydration will impair your muscles’ ability to recover. Without hydration, your body will not be able to bounce back and feel the advantages of the workout you have just completed. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that women get about 2.7 litres of water a day and men about 3.7 litres.
Water provides a number of additional benefits, including keeping your body temperature regulated, carrying nutrients and oxygen through the blood, and flushing out any toxins you have in your body.
What Is The Best Tool For Muscle Recovery?
If you are feeling the effects of a workout, there are a number of tools that can be used to aid the recovery process. Using a recovery tool will allow you to target the exact points in your body where you feel pain and remove the tension you feel around your muscles. Using tools to aid recovery is known as self-myofascial release.
There are a number of tools available, but we have put together a list of some of the best to help with your post-gym recovery. The benefit of each of these tools is that they can be added to your training or gym bag, making them perfect for on-the-go use.
A foam roller is one of the best and most popular active recovery tools available for post-workout recovery. Foam rollers are extremely useful to have on hand, as you can target a large number of muscles in various parts of your body.
Foam rolling helps relieve muscle soreness and inflammation. Using a foam roller regularly can help prepare and strengthen your muscles to avert injuries as time goes on.
Check out how to choose a foam roller to ensure that you have the right foam roller for your needs.
Massage sticks, or recovery sticks, have recently grown in popularity as a muscle recovery tool. This is due to their heightened versatility in comparison to a foam roller. Massage sticks can easily be added to your kit bag or gym bag for on-the-go use.
Much like the foam roller, the massage stick is handheld, but can make it easier to target a specific muscle group. Many massage sticks are made from harder materials than the foam roller, providing greater relief for the user. You can use the massage stick by rubbing the handles up and down the affected muscle area. Massage sticks are perfect if you want to speed up recovery or show your body some extra love after a long day.
Why not check out our massage stick and add it as the key tool to your post gym recovery routine.
Massage Ball and Roller Set
Massage balls will provide greater precision for the pain you are trying to target. These balls are perfect for post-workout recovery, as they target muscles which you cannot reach with foam rollers or a massage stick. Massage balls will target your trigger points, making them perfect for knots and tight muscles.
You can use the massage trigger balls for harder-to-reach areas such as the bottom of your feet, your shoulders, chest or your glutes. The benefit of using a massage ball for recovery is that it can increase your range of motion in your joints, and decrease fatigue and soreness of muscles after exercise. Using massage trigger balls for just a few minutes each day can have great benefits - especially when used consistently and as part of a recovery routine.
Check out our two-pack of massage balls and begin to feel the benefits of self-myofascial massage right away!