Being an athlete and addicted to intense exercises, my body is constantly in recover mode. Whether it is my quads, shoulders, hamstrings or abs, I feel like there is always one part of my mom that is sore.
My husband tells me that I over do it. That I need to take a break and give my body a rest. In my eyes, being sore means you are accomplishing something. The beauty of exercise is that you can give certain parts of your body a rest while using other muscles to get a workout in. When my arms and shoulders are sore I go for a run. When my legs are feeling tired, I do some yoga or biking. It is a constant cycle of working, recovery, and refueling your entire body.
As I get older (and wiser) I have grown to understand the importance of rest, recovery and PROTEIN. I am 27 years old right now and I first felt by body taking longer to recover when I was 25. That is when I started to give my body some more TLC during pre-work outs and post-work outs.
Here are some tips and tricks that have helped my body recover quicker and stay healthy and strong.
1. Water: The more water I drink days before a hard workout the better I perform and the better I feel. Water is also the best post workout drink for me. It clenches my thirst and replenishes my body. Gatorade, Power Aide and those other sport drinks only leave me more thirsty and craving sugar. Drinking a lot of water right before a race or workout only gives me a stomach ache.
2. Foam Roller: I just started using a foam roller this year and boy are they amazing! When I have sore legs or back muscles I use the roller to slowly roll out the soreness. My sore muscles don’t just instantly go away but by using a roller I have helped increased recovery by a day or two! Here is my new foam roller I got for Christmas!
3. Fresh Shoes: Make sure you update your shoes frequently. Especially if you are a runner. I get a new pair of shoes about ever 6 months. I also learned this year that your shoes can break down quicker if you don’t give them a rest. Meaning, give your shoes time to recover and regain their shape. It might be helpful to rotate different shoes for different workouts. I’ve gotten shine splints, sore heals and arches from working out in over worn shoes.
4. Protein Shakes: It has become religious for me to drink a protein shake after almost ever workout.
- 1 Banana
- 1 scope of chocolate protein powder
- Handful of Spinach
- Handful of Ice
- TSB Peanutbutter
- A good Splash of Almond Milk
I feel that I can never get enough protein and the more I eat, the fewer cravings I have and better I feel. Eggs and Greek Yogurt are some of my other protein favs.
5. Ice Baths: If you are a runner you have to try this! I live in Minnesota so my water is cold enough where I don’t have to add ice cubes. I like to fill my bathtub with cold water and sit in there for 5-10 minutes. I fill the tub with just enough water to cover my waste and legs. I usually jump right in with my clothes on to keep warm. This past year I have discovered the wonders of icing and stretching! Something I sit on ice packs at work. My recovery time is greatly reduced with icing.
6. Epsom Salt Baths: Have you heard of Epsom Salt? One of my group fitness instructors told me about it. Epsom Salt is rich with magnesium and sulfate which improves circulation, flushes toxins, improves oxygen use, reduces inflammation a relives stress. You can learn more about epsom salt at www.foodmatters.tv. I bought a bag of epsom salt from Target. Don’t knock it until you try it
For some of you, these ideas aren’t anything new. I simply wasn’t a believer of these things until I started trying them. And boy, I wish I would have started sooner!
Does anyone else have other good tips on how to speed up recovery time?