The Importance of Muscle Recovery after an Intense Workout

Muscle recovery is extremely important after any workout, especially those that are intense. Giving the muscles a chance to recover and rest between workouts is the best way to see improvement the next time you workout. It’s also the best way to give your muscles the opportunity to build and get stronger, which in turn helps to burn more fat. This will give you that athletic look without bulking you up too much.

However, the most important reason to let muscles recover between workouts is to avoid injury. When muscles get pulled or strained it’s hard to keep up with a regular workout regime, so it’s best to avoid injuries altogether–and muscle recovery is a big part of that. Consider using these effective yet easy techniques to help make sure your muscles fully recover after your next sweaty workout.

Stretch Those Muscles

Stretching is possibly the most effective answer to muscle recovery. It helps to relax the muscles after they work hard, and it helps to minimize the risk of spasms and cramps that could come up a couple of hours after exertion. You can get the job done in less than five minutes, and stretching is a great way to let your body down and relax as well. Pay attention to all the major muscles groups, making sure that they are stretched until they’re warm but not until they burn.

Replace Your Lost Fluids

The muscles need fluid in order to properly recuperate, but intense activity plays a major role in dehydration. This is why it’s a good idea to drink plenty of liquids right after the cool-down portion of your workout. Water is the best option, but sports drinks can also provide enough fluid replacement to help muscles with the recovery process. Avoid coffee and soda, as the caffeine found in them will just dehydrate you even more.

Get Your Rest

Your muscles are best known for recovering during sleeping hours. This is because your body uses the extra energy it gets from sleeping and puts it toward helping your muscles repair and gain strength. At least eight hours of shut eye each night is desirable, and a nice nap after a long or intense workout can help speed the process along even further. Just a few minutes of rest and relaxation can make a noticeable difference.

Don’t Over Train Your Muscles

You can really hamper muscle recovery when you don’t give them enough rest. This means that you should never do an intense workout two days in a row, as at least one day is needed for rest. Depending on the type of workout exertion you experience, you might even want to leave two rest days between such vigorous exercises, but one day is usually enough. You can stay active on your rest days by doing low key activities such as going on walks, swimming or playing a game of Frisbee at the park.

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  • Derek

    Caffeine does NOT dehydrate you–that’s an old MYTH.

    And Sports drinks are for before and during a workout/game, not after; only water and a protein shake (if strength training) are for post-workout