5 Ways to Minimize Recovery Time

Monday, August 25, 2014

When you want to get in better shape and build muscles, recovery technique can be just as important as your....

When you want to get in better shape and build muscles, recovery technique can be just as important as your workouts. Rest and recovery are essential to any exercise program and must occur before progress can be made - and they are also the most underutilized ways to improve performance. Below are five ways to minimize recovery time so that you can get the most from your workouts, and they don't include vegging out in front of the TV.

1. STRETCHING

Stretching is essential for boosting flexibility and keeping muscles pliable, which helps prevent injury. When you work out, lactic acid builds up in your muscles, which can lead to soreness and fatigue. Stretching increases circulation and relieves tension in the muscles, which can reduce the soreness you feel after exercising. Incorporate dynamic stretching in your warm-ups to prepare for your workouts and static stretching afterwards, when your muscles are warm.

2. HYDRATION

Make sure to properly hydrate before, during and after exercise with plenty of water. When you're dehydrated, it can both reduce your performance potential during a workout and delay the recovery process after.

3. USE COMPRESSION

Wearing compression sleeves and socks can boost recovery in a variety of ways. The technology used in compression gear boosts circulation and blood flow, which helps reduce swelling and decrease the buildup of lactic acid. Compression sleeves and socks also help warm up the muscles faster, which prevents cramping and helps reduce the risk of injury.

4. SLEEP

Adequate sleep gives your body the downtime necessary to restore your muscles and helps them recover faster. Aim for seven to eight hours at night and strive for consistent sleep, which is when you go to bed around the same time every night and get up around the same time each morning.

5. ACTIVE RECOVERY

While you need to give your muscles a break when you work out regularly, if you perform some light physical activity on your days off, this can boost the process. Taking a walk, a relaxed bike ride or playing a sport with your friends can stimulate blood flow and improve circulation to the muscles, which accelerates muscle recovery.