If there's one thing that a lot of people get wrong either in the gym, at home or after a big event (such as the Tough Mudder event we took part in yesterday) it's thet recovery plan. Today we'll tell you how we are recovering from such an event to see if it helps you next time you work yourself close to your limits.
Firstly, you need to ensure you stay hydrated. Working your body requires energy and creating that energy ises water. Without it your body will struggle to function properly day to day, let alone recover from a workout. If you think you're hydrated enough, have a little more. The test is to see your urine - if it's almost clear then you're good. Yellow tint means you're getting dehydrated.
Next is nutrition. You've just emptied your body of its energy source and building blocks to rebuild after the dress of exercising so now it's time to refuel. The best things to eat and at what time depend on your goals. The goal today is quick recovery so you're going to want to eat almost immediately after you finished. You're going to want a nice mix of protein, carbs (good ones like veg) and fats (yes, fats are vital to your body). We'd suggest tucking into a meal with meat and veg pretty soon after finishing. And not forget to wash it down with plenty of water.
To make sure your body doesn't ache we personally so 2 things. Number 1) is to 'roll out' your muscles. See previous posts about foam rolling (myofascial release) for how to do it. This will get es of knots and kinks in your muscles before they have a chance to get too tight. Number 2) is to use a machine such as a PowerPlate to massage your muscles. Set the machine into a medium setting and sit / lay on each muscle group you've used fen a couple of minutes an allow the vibrations to hake the muscle and relax it. Move it gently side to side, effectively rolling over it gently to maximise results.
The day after the exercise is also key. You shouldn't be feeling too bad if you've followed the advice above and now it's time to get moving again. We complete a few rounds of the lunge market (forward, side, rotate) with reaches with your upper body (forward / back, side to side, rotate each way) to loosen up. Complete them slowly and don't overdo it; the aim is to loosen, not to work hard. If you feel good you might want to do a little light exercise to loosen further, but it's not imperative.
So there you have it. The perfect formula to follow to reduce your recovery time, prevent aches and pains and to make working out more enjoyable. Follow it and see how you feel!