8 TIPS TO SPEED UP MUSCLE RECOVERY
Recovery is the key to our successful performance. This is the phase during which our body will recover from its efforts and possibly heal certain injuries or soothe any pain.
This phase is absolutely essential for you to feel fit again and perform well in your next workout. And the faster your body recovers, the faster you can start exercising again. A body that is given enough recovery time will be less prone to injury and better able to put in intense effort because it is after training that your body will develop its performance.
YOUR BODY EXHAUSTS ITSELF DURING TRAINING
It is important to understand that your body will tire during the effort. Your bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons are put under considerable strain and your energy reserves are depleted, which will first of all lead to a decrease in performance. But once the training is finished, your body will start to restructure: “by giving it the necessary time, your body will use this recovery phase to develop its physical capacities and replenish new quality resources. If your body does not have enough time for this process and therefore cannot fully recover before your next workout, your athletic performance may stagnate or even decline. ”Explains Sascha Wingenfeld, our running expert.
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO RECOVER
Recovery p assive: this is about putting your body to rest by relying solely on its capacity for recovery and hoping that it will know how to regenerate itself and as quickly as possible. Active
recovery : it encompasses all actions (stretching, massages, etc.) aimed at helping the body to recover faster and more efficiently. “In this way, you can resume training faster and increase the intensity, which will lead to an improvement in your performance,” says Sascha.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE RECOVERY METHODS
1. THE CALM DOWN PHASE
Always end a training session with a “cool down” phase. Over the last 10 minutes, gradually decrease the intensity of your run to achieve a recovery pace. By doing this, your metabolism and cardiovascular system will slowly return to normal functioning mode. This will also allow you to limit muscle acidity as well as certain accumulations. This decrease in intensity will accelerate the transition to the recovery phase and prevent too rapid remobilization of the body.
Do a short stretching session after each of your workouts to reduce the first muscle tension and prepare your muscles to perform again. These stretches will loosen your muscles but will also have a relaxing effect on body and mind during the calm down phase.
3. COLD / HOT SHOWERS (KNEIPP METHOD)
After a workout, you’re going to have to shower anyway. So take the opportunity to do your muscles good: shower for 30 to 40 seconds, alternating very cold and hot water. Repeat this process about 5 to 8 times. Cold water will relieve muscle pain that leads to muscle stiffness, while hot water stimulates blood circulation and relaxes your tendons and muscles.
4. THE ICE BATH
A particularly intense running session can cause muscle micro-trauma. “An ice bath will decrease the blood supply to the muscles and thus reduce inflammation or stop internal bleeding from these injuries. After an ice bath, the blood circulation of the muscles is considerably stimulated, which will also help the body to get rid of metabolic wastes and other toxins. ”Sascha explains.
5. ACTIVE RELAXATION TRAINING
There is a direct link between body and mind. Our thoughts have the power to control certain reactions in our body. This natural law forms the basis of all forms of active relaxation, including autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga and much more. A 10-minute relaxation program is sufficient to reduce tension and the concentration of lactate in the muscles. It’s up to you to try out these different methods and find the one that works best for you.
Always try to replenish your reserves after training in order to provide your body with all the energy it needs to regenerate. A good combination of complex carbohydrates (like whole wheat products for example) and protein will stimulate the body’s recovery process. This combination of macro-nutrients helps you gain muscle mass and stabilizes insulin levels.
Want to know more about the three macro-nutrients ? We have collected the most important information for you.
V also eillez to stay hydrated to replace lost fluids: depending on the intensity of your workout, your body will need 500 to 700 ml of water per hour of exercise. The performance of your muscles in particular depends on constant hydration . Also avoid drinking alcohol: your liver has to expend a lot of energy during training and if it has to take care of metabolizing the alcohol consumed in addition, it will be twice as stressed. But that’s not all: alcohol slows down the regeneration process and therefore your chances of performing well during your next workout.
Sleeping is the easiest and most effective way for our body to recover . It is in fact when we sleep that our body will repair small injuries or trauma related to training and that muscle growth will take place. Depending on the intensity of your workout, you should get about 7-8 hours of sleep per night. And beware: a lack of sleep will have the effect of slowing down your metabolism, harming the regeneration process, your morale and weakening your immune system, not to mention the cravings against which you will have to fight.
8. THE SAUNA
The sauna is also a great way to relax your body and mind. With the heat, the muscles relax and their blood circulation increases considerably. Consequence: the pain is relieved and muscle regeneration in general accelerates. Your body will also feel a form of inner peace and mental relaxation, which will also help reduce muscle tension and stimulate regeneration. But remember to drink plenty of water to compensate for the loss of fluids due to sweating and also keep in mind that a visit to the sauna will drastically reduce your muscle tone, which may have the effect of decreasing your performance the next day. So avoid the sauna the day before a competition!