It’s important to let your body recover properly between workouts. Here are a few ways you can support muscle recovery on rest days.
Wear Compression Pants
- Compression pants increase circulation, naturally forcing a steady supply of freshly oxygenated blood through the muscles.
- Compression garments can also help to clear muscles of the lactic acid that causes soreness.
- Wearing compression men’s leggings throughout recovery both relieves muscle pain and helps increase recovery speed via good blood flow.
Stretch It Out
- Stretch daily to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness, and prevent injury during your next workout.
- Make sure you stretch gently so as not to injure yourself before your next workout.
- Combine stretching with massage and active recovery (walking, bike riding, etc.) for good circulation and even better results.
- Continue to drink plenty of fluids after your workouts to ensure proper hydration during the recovery period.
- In addition to water, post-exercise recovery beverages like Gatorade and other sports drinks can provide beneficial electrolytes.
- Other good post-workout drinks include chocolate milk (good carbs), coconut water (lots of nutrients), and cherry juice (antioxidant rich).
Try Herbal Remedies
- Turmeric or willow bark may be helpful for pain and inflammation.
- Boswellia, or Indian Frankincense, may promote circulation and help naturally relieve pain.
- Green tea provides healthy antioxidants and may even help to build muscle in those who regularly lift weights.
- After exercise, your body especially needs protein to rebuild muscle and carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels.
- Great recovery foods: chicken, sweet potato, quinoa, fruit, oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, dark green vegetables, salmon, eggs, avocado, and peanut butter.
- Ideally, you want to eat these post-exercise foods within about 45 minutes of finishing your workout.
Supplement as Needed
- In addition to nutritious food, you might benefit from supplements containing things like protein, electrolytes, creatine, and amino acids.
- Examples include whey protein powder, electrolyte drink mix, creatine powder, amino complex powder, and BCAA capsules.
- Always make sure you consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Get Plenty of Sleep
- Sleep is when the body makes new proteins, and studies suggest that a lack of sleep can be detrimental to recovery and athletic performance.
- Improve your sleep hygiene: Turn off all devices an hour before bedtime and go to bed at the same time every day.
- If you’ve had a particularly tough workout, let yourself sleep a little longer!