The Importance of Exercise Recovery
It’s such a great feeling to complete a workout—especially if you really challenged yourself or tried something new. And while stepping up your exercise routine is certainly a great accomplishment, seeing real results isn’t as simple as pushing yourself harder and harder. In fact, resting and recovering after your workouts is almost as important as the workouts themselves.
Why You Need to Recover
Exercise causes muscle tissue breakdown, depletion of energy stores, and fluid loss. And that’s OK—that’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s the micro-tears in your muscles that allow them to grow between weight lifting sessions. The same goes for cardio: As your body recovers from the stress of an aerobic workout, it learns to adapt better and better each time.
Without proper recovery efforts, your body will continue to break down, leaving you sore and exhausted. Inadequate rest can also lead to increased injuries, decreased performance, and overtraining syndrome, which causes chronic joint and muscle pain as well as a weakened immune system.
Recovery Tips and Tricks
There are a number of steps you can take between workouts to maximize your efforts and help your body fully recover.
- Drink water. We lose a lot of fluid during exercise, and it’s important to replenish it (as well as pump out the metabolic waste produced by a strenuous workout). Try to drink water during your workout and even more as you recover.
- Eat well. It’s true that protein is a critical nutrient to make exercise effective. It helps repair muscle tears and provides healthy fuel. But you shouldn’t shun carbs and fat—they’re just as important for your health and recovery. Check out these post-workout meal ideas.
- Stretch and roll. You can help your muscles recover by stretching and using a foam roller. This helps flush out lactic acid and toxins as well as improve your flexibility and joint function.
- Take a vitamin. Vitamins and minerals are essential for repairing muscles, fighting inflammation, and creating new tissue cells. Consider taking a multivitamin containing vitamins C, E, B, and D, as well as zinc and magnesium.
- Get some sleep. Not only is sleep wonderful, but it’s also helpful after a workout. It helps with muscle repair and growth and rejuvenates you to dive into your workout the next day.
Therapeutic Recovery Services
If you’re looking to really up your workout game and improve your performance, you could try some more high-tech recovery techniques.
- Salt room. A healthy respiratory system is essential for any type of exercise. Salt vapors can help clear out mucus, allergens, and pollutants, which helps you supply more oxygen to your muscles and speed up the recovery process.
- Hyperbaric chamber. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve your muscles’ blood flow, helping them recover and return to full strength. It can also help wounds and injuries heal faster.
- Float tank. Used by many athletes, sensory-deprivation tanks are filled with water and Epsom salt, making you float effortlessly. Aside from being super relaxing, float tanks have an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to soothe sore muscles and speed along with recovery.
- Pulse and laser beds. Pulse therapy or PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) helps increase oxygen flow and nutrient circulation, allowing for reduced inflammation, tissue healing, injury relief, and more restorative sleep.
- NormaTec boots. Using pneumatic compression technology, these boots massage your legs to help enhance blood flow, which helps recovery by enhancing blood flow and moving fluid toward your core.
- Cryo chamber. During cryotherapy, you are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time. This causes the body to protect its core temperature by redirecting blood flow toward the core, leading to reduced inflammation and faster cellular repair.
Coupled with a thorough exercise regimen, these therapeutic recovery services will not only help you recover from your workouts but also improve sleep, relieve stress, and help you perform better at work.
You will find all of these treatments in our building as part of Optimum Human—a comprehensive, holistic wellness offering focused on human performance. Contact us to learn more about our pioneering treatments to meet your recovery needs.