Post-workout recovery can be long, especially if you practice resistance training. When you start working out, you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). However, shorten your recovery time by following some health tips. Here are six ways to help your muscles recover faster.
1. Getting a Protein Boost
Getting sufficient protein is essential for building muscle and ensuring a fast recovery post-workout. You can consume a protein-rich meal a few hours before working out or after. Either way, apps such as SideChef and FitMenCook are invaluable resources with countless recipe options.
SideChef is a healthy cooking app that gives you personalized recommendations based on the ingredients you have at hand, your cooking goals, and dietary restrictions. If you’re new to cooking, do not have much time, or want to keep your pantry minimal, try SideChef.
FitMenCook is another cooking app focused on fitness. Here, you can choose from 800 healthy and protein-rich recipes. This app makes calorie tracking a breeze with a detailed nutritional breakdown of each recipe. Additionally, you can watch quick tutorial videos for every recipe.
Having a recipe and meal planner at hand can save time and remove the hassle of manually searching for healthy meals. If you follow a specific diet such as vegan, keto, or low-carb, a meal planner is a must for hitting your daily protein goals.
2. Double Up on Hydration
Hydrating after a workout is crucial for fast recovery. Perspiration and sweat help keep you cool. But you need to actively replenish lost fluids after a workout. Thus, a simple water reminder app or a smart water bottle can help keep you always hydrated.
A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition states that even a 2% water loss can affect your physical performance. The Water Reminder app sends you notifications periodically. You can manually enter any other liquids that you consumed, and it adjusts your daily requirements accordingly.
Alternatively, smart water bottles are much more effective. Chances are you may miss out on app notifications, but a glowing water bottle is hard to miss. Smart bottles from HidrateSpark accurately track your water intake and will light up when it’s time to drink. You can also access your hydration stats on the HidrateSpark app.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Optimum sleep is an unavoidable tool for faster muscle recovery. Nutritional needs alone cannot help your muscles recover if you do not allow yourself to rest. Therefore, focus on getting quality sleep. That starts with tracking your sleeping patterns and well-being throughout the day.
The WHOOP 4.0 is one of the best sleep trackers in the market. Apart from tracking your sleep patterns, it also measures your sleep dept and tells you how much sleep you need. A useful feature of WHOOP is its estimation of how much strain your body has endured after a workout.
Understanding your sleep performance can help you improve it. WHOOP’s sleep coach analyzes your strain and recommends when you need to go to sleep. If you follow the personalized sleep plan, you can recover much faster.
4. Try a Massage
Extreme muscle soreness post-workout is difficult to treat internally. For short-term relief, massagers can be extremely useful. The Theragun Pro is one of the best massagers that enhances muscle recovery by relieving stress.
Theragun is an effective device for deep muscle treatment. It delivers 60 lbs of force at adjustable speeds using soft attachments. That can help relax your muscles and significantly impact post-workout recovery. You also get different attachments with the massager. For example, the Thumb attachment is apt for massaging the lower back and various trigger points.
Another way of massaging is using foam rollers. A foam roller is a simple piece of equipment that reduces muscle soreness with correct usage. Foam Rolling is a popular iOS app that can help you target the right muscle groups. It has a library of foam rolling exercises with illustrations, instructions, and video demonstrations for every exercise.
5. Engage in Active Recovery
While rest and sleep are great long-term solutions, active recovery is another proven approach. This is a great option if you feel like you can’t not do something on a rest day.
Talking a brisk walk, cycling, and practicing yoga are great active recovery workouts. If you want to take a walk outdoors after working out, try Strava or Charity Miles. Strava is best for accurate analytics. It can sync data with your fitness wearables and keep track of your route.
Charity Miles is a unique step-counting app. It donates sums to your favorite charities if you hit your cardio goals. Therefore, this serves as a positive incentive for some cardio while helping you with active recovery.
Indoor cycling apps such as Zwift are perfect if you want to exercise from home. Zwift offers immersive and interactive cycling sessions. Zwift allows you to interact and train with your friends. You can select from over 1000 workouts and customize them according to your skill level.
6. Compression Therapy
If you’re an endurance athlete or require immediate relief from DOMS, compression therapy is an ideal choice. Therabody has a wide range of smart wearables that offer compression therapy. You can pick a wearable based on the muscle group you want to target.
For example, the RecoveryAir Pro is a pair of compression boots. These can come in handy after a long cardio session or leg exercises. With various pressure and time settings, you can fast-track your muscle recovery.
Similarly, Therabody offers compression pants, a sleeve, and a half-jacket. Compression wearables can help soothe your muscles, reduce pain, and increase blood flow. Therabody’s compression wearables connect to your phone via Bluetooth and are controllable via a mobile app.
Faster Recovery With Apps and Wearables
Your muscle recovery time may vary based on your fitness level. However, following good nutritional habits can ensure the time taken is less. Manually keeping track of dozens of exercises, meals, and sleep schedules are difficult. Therefore, a combination of apps and smart wearables can make the recovery process seamless.