No pain, no gain. We’ve all heard the old adage and every time we hit the gym it plays over and over in our head. Every time we increase the weights on the bar, every time we boost the speed on the treadmill – no pain, no gain. What if we told you that, according to science, it’s actually your recovery that’s the most important aspect of your workout. Could you say you’re doing enough?
It’s important to remember that your muscles don’t actually grow during the workout, but rather when you’re resting in between. That’s why spending time in recovery is essential. And the more you get into the recovery habit, the faster your recovery time will be, which will in turn boost your fitness levels.
What are the best tips for fast recovery? Here’s our top three.
Make sure you stretch
Stretching is often underrated but it’s actually essential if you want to give your body the best chance of recovery. A good stretch post-workout allows your body time to cool down and for your heart to return to normal beating rhythms. Stretching also helps to reduce pain, loosening the muscles that have become tight during your workout. It gives you more energy, enhances your muscle coordination and gives you the chance to start to hit relaxation mode.
Relax at home
If you’re following up a heavy gym session with house cleaning or mowing the lawn, you might as well still be at the gym. Instead, let your muscles rest. Sit on a comfy chair and relax. La-Z-Boy recliners are a great choice – they relieve the pressure off your joints and reduce the strain on your body, and they promote circulation through elevation of the feet which helps keep your blood and oxygen flowing from your feet through to the rest of your body. Power recliners even give you the added benefit of a simple touch button that you push to get moving – you don’t even have to strain those arms muscles to get the footrest up.
The First-Class range will look great in your bach pad and it’s super comfy and stylish. Great for watching your fave movies with mates, sitting back in your media room playing your PS5, or chilling with the family after a big gym session.
Most dieticians recommend that you eat within 30 minutes of finishing a workout session to refuel your body. When you finish working out, your body tries to rebuild glycogen stores that your muscles used while exercising. By eating good food, the body can do this faster which enhances your recovery. Carbs, good fat and protein are particularly encouraged to increase your energy levels and repair any microdamage your workout may have caused to your muscles. Great meal ideas include egg and avocado on toast, tuna and crackers, protein shake with banana, or oatmeal with fruit and nuts.
Next time you hit the weights or cardio, remember that while the work you do at the gym is important, it’s what you do when you leave that matters most.