I’ve had a few questions sent my way about how to recover properly after a big workout session. It really is how your own body reacts to your workouts, so it’s different for anyone, but there is a few things we can all do to help us give ourselves the best chance of feeling much better the next day and not suffer from the dreaded DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness)!
Time is really the biggest one of the recovery methods. Making sure you leave enough time before undertaking another big session is key otherwise your risk of injury and fatigue increases dramatically. Giving your muscles enough time recover before working them again is key.
Usually DOMS kicks in up to 24 hours after your last workout, reducing motion and leaving you feeling sore while your muscles recover from the fibre damage occurred when working out. Having a heavy session during this time will increase your injury risk massively, so it’s advised you wait between 48-72 hours before conducting a maximum session.
Sleeping is the quickest way to recover. Studies have shown that not having adequate sleep can cause undue stress when training on the body, as it hasn’t had the rest it needs to keep up with your big sessions. The very purpose of sleep is so the body can recover, so if you don’t get enough, your body will be affected, including your hormone levels which are key in your ability to recovery quicker from bigger workouts.
Your body is like a car, you need to replenish it when you use up the fuel, with the right fuel. Making sure you are having an adequate amount of protein after a workout. Protein is required for muscle building and other sources like enzymes and other muscle tissue, while also aiding in the recovery of muscle fibres. Having a snack with a combination of carbohydrates and protein will hold you in good stead to recover as fast as possible after your session.
Stretch and Massage
Stretching during the hours after your workout will aid in muscle fibre recovery as well. Staying still will mean your muscles are stretched a lot then lying dormant, which isn’t good for recovery and won’t see the blood flow needed to recover well. Stretching promotes blood flow as does a massage to improve the circulation after a long workout.