Have you gone back to the gym and wondering how you managed to cope with the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) before lockdown? It’s normal to experience increased muscle soreness and fatigue after taking a break from training, but here are my tips on how to recover quickly from your workout.
It’s worth noting, if you have just gone back to the gym after a long break, or haven’t gone back yet but will be soon – please remember to ease yourself in slowly and be kind to your body. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to lift the same weights you did before lockdown, and that’s okay! Take it easy and build your strength up again gradually with good form and technique.
All of these tips put together will allow you to recover as quickly as possible, and each of them are as important as each other in aiding your recovery. That being said, if you implement just one or two of these tips and you weren’t doing any before, you should see an improvement in your recovery rate.
Protein helps to recover and rebuild damaged muscle after training, so it is vital that you are consuming enough in your daily diet. On average, depending on the type and intensity of your training, you will need 1-2g per kg body mass per day of protein in your diet. You could get this spread across your meals and snacks or you may choose to supplement with a protein shake if you feel you’re not quite getting enough. I use Free Soul Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder – follow the link and use code “FSLaurenhollie” at the checkout for 15% off. (Aff – see more).
COOL DOWN AND STRETCH
It’s easy to get to the last set and rep of your workout and get ready to call it a day and get straight home again, but if you take even just 5 minutes to cool down and stretch (I recommend at least 10-20 minutes for a thorough cool down) your body will definitely thank you. I like to bring it down with a gentle incline walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes or so at the end of my sessions, and then a nice long stretch, focusing mainly on the muscle groups I have trained.
As well as your protein intake, consuming a well rounded and balanced diet will ensure you’re getting all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs to recover fully. Fuelling your body with the most nutritious food you can, eating well balanced and healthy meals as often as you can will allow your body to perform better as well as a speedier recovery. If you often feel fatigued or run down, it may be worth booking in for a blood test to see if you have any kind of vitamin deficiency that you could be supplementing for optimal health and better training sessions.
TRIGGER POINT PILATES
Think foam rolling, but better. Foam rolling can be effective to help the muscles recover, but in Trigger Point Pilates we use a softer roller and soft prickle balls to release the tightened fascia and allow you to move easier and have increased mobility. Read more about Pilates and what it can do for you here.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Staying hydrated will also help your muscles out. Water carries nutrients around the body, lubricates joints and hydrates the fascia (the thin layer of connective tissue under the skin that can get super tight and therefore restrict your movement), so staying hydrated and drinking more after your sessions in particular will help you out in terms of recovery.
BE MORE ACTIVE
It might sound silly but if you just get up to do your intense gym session and then sit down and do nothing for the rest of the day, you’re going to ache a lot more than if you keep yourself active for the rest of the day. Whether that’s going for a walk, doing a food shop or just pottering around the house – sitting still for hours after your workout is the worst thing you can do for muscular aches later in the day and the following days after your workout.
Those are all of my tips for today! Let me know in the comments if you have any more to add to the list 🙂