Did you know that how well you RECOVER from an exercise session has a huge impact on the results of that session? In fact, all hard work and no thoughtful recovery or rest WILL halt your results and can even diminish performance.
Here are our Top Tips for Thoughtful Recovery so you can look, move and feel (even more) awesome!
BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT NUTRITION:
Exercise (especially lifting weights) is a process of producing micro-tears in the muscle fibers. This is a good thing! The breaking down and then REST & REBUILDING of those muscle fibers is what makes that muscle stronger, more toned and firing correctly.
Nutritionally, PROTEIN is the building block of muscle, meaning it will help repair and rebuild those micro-tears after exercise. For this reason, we recommend eating a palm-size or two amount of protein within 2 hours of working out. Here are some great sources of lean protein: lean beef, chicken, fish, wild game, eggs, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, spinach, and legumes.
If you’d like some protein-packed recipes, check out this post.
We also enjoy supplementing with clean protein powders like Juice Plus+ Complete (plant-based), Ancient Nutrition (bone broth or collagen) and Plexus Lean (clean whey). We also have Fuel For Fire Smoothie Pouchesavailable for our members in our gym lobby as theyare the perfect grab-and-go recovery fuel (fruit + protein)…and delicious, to boot.
Keeping muscles hydrated is key to helping them recover. Aiming for 1/2 your bodyweight in water per day is a non-scientifically backed amount but still a good goal to have…and more if you’re sweating a lot or not getting fluids from other food and drink. If this is overwhelming, start slow by adding one intentional glass of water per day (right after you wake up is a great time to do so!).
One of the best things you can do to offset muscle soreness and aid in recovery is to go for a walk. Although you may just feel like vegging on the couch after a tough training day, you’ll recover a lot faster if you keep your muscles moving since it will increase blood flow to the area and, in turn, bring lots of good healing nutrition where it needs to go.
SLEEP DEEP & AIM TO LOWER INFLAMMATION:
Exercise will naturally produce more inflammation acutely (though it can lead to an overall decrease in inflammation over time). Increased inflammation without deep sleep or the proper nutrition to balance it can lead to poor recovery and overall poor health. We recommend being super intentional about your nighttime routine and to eat inflammation-lowering fruits and vegetables like berries, beets, broccoli, pineapple, and leafy greens. If you don’t eat these foods daily, consider taking Juice Plus+, which is 30 anti-inflammatory fruits and veggies, ground up and put into capsules. Spices like turmeric and BCAA drinks like FitAid (found in our lobby fridge) or plain green tea are also anti-inflammatory, as are omega-3-packed wild-caught salmon and chia seeds.
SOAK FEET OR BODY IN EPSOM SALTS:
Epsom Salts are comprised of magnesium sulphate and, since intense exercise tends to deplete magnesium in our bodies, soaking in Epsom Salts can alleviate muscle pain, reduce swelling, relieve stress, improve circulation, soften skin and improve mood. These minerals are absorbed effectively through the skin, providing almost instant relief from aches and discomforts. We help our members “enjoy the unwind” by gifting them a jar of Epsom Salts w/ lavender essential oil after their first workout!
There you have it – practical ways to feel good, stay healthy and reap all the benefits that proper RECOVERY can bring to your fitness goals!
As our coach and leader in the industry, Alwyn Cosgrove says, “Remember – you do not get better by training. You get better by recovering FROM training.”
Jess + Team Valeo
PS – did you see this A-MAY-ZING SPECIAL we have going on right now?! Click picture to read more details!