5 Muscle Recovery Tips for Your Workout
Craving a good sweat? Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or an indoor yogi, the science of wellness is here to help. We can get you prepped for optimal muscle recovery—so that you can stick to good exercise habits and avoid injuries on your wellness journey. No need for fancy, expensive equipment or new gym memberships. Below, we’ve got our five top tips for quicker muscle recovery applicable to any discipline.
#1: Try Hot and Cold Therapy
After a long run, some ice on the calves may sound like a great idea. A hot towel around the neck could also be nice after a weightlifting session. So, which is it—do both hot and cold treatments assist equally with muscle soreness?
Professional athletes take cold therapies to the next level, using ice massage, cryotherapy, and cold water immersion to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). At home, for the casual exerciser, an ice pack applied for 20 minutes can make a difference. Ice works to reduce inflammation and relieve pain when a muscle is strained. On the other hand, heat assists with muscle relaxation. It also improves circulation, which removes lactic acid waste, keeping blood pumping and dilating the vessels.
Both heat and ice therapies may be beneficial post-rigorous exercise. Always consult your trainer and your doctor before making big changes to your workout routine.
#2: Perfect Your Cooldown Routine
When we’re in a hurry, the warmup and the cooldown are often the first two things to go. This puts us at a much higher risk of injury. The Mayo Clinic notes doing both lowers the stress placed on your muscles—including your heart.
To cool down from cardio or strength training, continue the activity at a slower pace as your heart rate comes back down. Deep breathing is also a good way to avoid feeling faint or lightheaded. Include some gentle stretches as the workout concludes, and don’t forget a gentle pat on the back. Taking 5-10 minutes for a cooldown routine also gives us a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
#3: Take a Rest Day
Sometimes, what you don’t put your body through can be just as consequential as exercise. Rest days are crucial to avoid getting burned out and/or injured. And they are supported by science! Exercise creates tiny tears in your muscles, which repair and grow stronger when allowed some downtime. Your body also gets to build its energy stores back up.
#4: Fuel Up with the Right Snacks
You thought all of our tips would focus on what to do *after* the workout, right? Not so with muscle recovery nutrition. A good snack beforehand will aid muscle recovery both immediately and in the long term. Here are 10 foods that support muscle recovery and repair.
A pre- or post-workout snack should include easily digestible protein, some carbs for energy, and fat. Certain foods like nuts, seeds, and turmeric can also fight inflammation—which in turn reduces muscle swelling. The right foods give your body its best possible chance of feeling great after a punishing sweat session.
#5: Massage Sore Muscles with CBD Cream
A good CBD cream is the perfect choice for a post-workout massage. Top hemp-derived topicals can assist with soreness and promote relaxation when the time comes to wind down. It can also be effective to apply before beginning to exercise, getting those muscles warmed up properly when paired with movement.
Natural Muscle Recovery Tips for Everyone
Whether you’re spending 2-3 hours at the gym every day or twenty minutes on the treadmill, these five tips for muscle recovery can apply to you. Want to learn more? Click here to learn about the benefits of cross-training for high-impact fitness.