If you’re into fitness or do physical exercise, muscle recovery is an aspect that you should consider seriously. This article will give you eight useful ideas to help you get started.
Muscles provide power, motion, and cushioning of the body. They make breathing, circulation, and digestion possible. When you exercise, your muscles develop small tears. If you don’t give them a conducive healing environment, the tears might grow, and your muscles may feel inflamed, swollen, and exhausted.
How do you improve muscle recovery?
No muscle recovery method can make up for poor nutrition and a lack of rest. Living a healthy lifestyle is an essential step to maximize your muscle recovery.
Here are some general suggestions for maximizing muscle recovery.
1. Use practical high-tech gadgets
Sometimes training can stress the body to a point where the rate of natural muscle recovery goes down. That’s where technology can be useful. High-tech equipment has been said to increase circulation and reduce muscle inflammation. Some examples for maximizing muscle recovery include the muscle roller stick, foam rollers, massage balls, and power massagers.
2. Eat healthy foods
Eating a healthy diet can ensure that you don’t develop nutrient deficiencies that may hinder your muscles’ ability to recover. To maximize muscle recovery, prioritize foods that are rich in protein and carbohydrates. Eating enough fruits and vegetables helps to keep your immune system healthy.
Protein could provide the body the much-needed nutrients for repairing muscle damage. Foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products such as cottage cheese are rich in proteins. For maximum recovery, muscles need glycogen that’s found in carbohydrates. During exercise, it’s the glycogen that serves as the body’s main energy form. Potatoes, white rice, and wheat are examples of foods rich in carbs.
3. Be well-hydrated
Drinking fluids speeds up muscle recovery time, removes toxins from your body, and keeps your muscles in proper working order. Water is the most effective fluid for building and developing strong muscles. It makes up two-thirds of your body. Dehydration reduces your muscles’ repairing capacity. Foods like watermelon and tart cherry juice are good for hydration.
4. Have a proper sleeping schedule
The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized. Sleep helps your immune response and could enhance muscle recovery. If you exercise intensely, you need more rest than the average person. Research studies conclude that sleep deprivation may slow muscle recovery by reducing the body’s reaction to inflammation. In addition, hormone production might be impaired, especially those that help the growth of muscles.
5. Use the right food supplements
Food supplements have been reported to provide nutrients that may not be sufficiently available in regular foods. One of the widely-used supplements is creatine. Research shows that it may help improve muscular strength by reducing inflammation and even muscle damage. The use of protein powder is said to be an easier process of adding much-needed protein. Please check with your nutritionist or doctor before intake, though.
Massaging body parts has been found to add positive effects on flexibility improvement and even in reducing soreness that’s felt right after an exercise routine. Massage also helps to improve fluid circulation, which is vital for muscle recovery.
7. Avoid alcohol consumption
Alcohol prevents the body from adequately absorbing vitamins and minerals. Alcohol can dehydrate the body, causing a decrease in the rate of muscle recovery and an increase in muscle cramping.
8. Avoid smoking
Cigarette smoking impairs the muscles’ ability to metabolize the energy produced during physical activity, which delays the body’s muscle recovery time. Smoking also results in a reduction in glucose uptake, thereby hindering muscle recovery.
Cool down to power up
While exercising, it might be inevitable that some muscles could be damaged. Thus, it’s imperative to devote ample time to the recovery of such muscles.
Know that muscle recovery is dependent on your lifestyle. Some factors that can affect your muscle recovery time include: how much nutrition you’re getting, how much fluids you drink, and how well you sleep. It’s advisable to allow the muscles a good recovery period to avoid future injuries.