Are you in the process of losing weight or building muscles or are you thinking about getting into a workout routine? Exercise is not just constantly working out with no rest. Muscle recovery is an essential step in any workout routine.
Let’s talk about what you can do to improve your muscle recovery.
DON'T OVER DO IT
One of the most crucial ideas to keep in mind when thinking about muscle recovery is that you shouldn’t overwork your muscles. How does one define ‘overwork’? If you overwork a biological material, this means you have deformed it beyond the point of return. That is, the material has been changed so much that it is unable to return to its normal state and function. The body has a way of healing most of its own biologic materials, but this is where recovery comes into play.
Your workout routine should include at least one and ideally two days of rest. Our muscles don’t grow while they are working. They grow when we are sleeping, resting, and recovering. This doesn’t mean avoid all activity or even activity that causes muscle soreness.
Muscle soreness is a signal that you have worked the muscles a good bit! Improvement and better performance are on the way!
If you think that you cannot understand the difference between soreness and pain that is damaging, ask your personal trainer, yogi, physical therapist or physician for guidance.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Your diet plays a massive role in how your body handles muscle recovery. Some foods can hinder and some can improve your body’s inflammatory response. Likewise, some foods provide substrates and cofactors that are mandatory to heal tissues. Foods with a lot of sugar and hydrogenated oils can increase inflammation which slows down muscle recovery. Highly processed foods are essentially not even food at all and should be avoided if you wish to build a better body for yourself.
You will want to look for foods high in (healthy) protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and amino acids.
Foods like salmon that are naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids will also be naturally rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
Protein and amino acid-rich foods help build muscle and speed up recovery times. As an example, many people will drink a collagen with whey protein shake after a workout.
(Bear in mind that whey is generally derived of dairy products; so if vegan, this would not be ideal). Any source of good, preferably plant-based, amino acids will achieve the same goal.
You also need the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies. You should try to get 5-20 servings of fruits and veggies every day. Sound impossible? We agree, this does seem difficult. The Mediterranean type diet (Dr. Warner’s choice) recommends about 8 servings a day. This is hard to do, but pack some baby carrots or apples and bring them everywhere!
THINK ABOUT YOUR MOVEMENT
Think about the exercises you are doing. Isolated exercises on single muscle groups like bicep curls and calf raises are not going to help you build effective and functional muscle. Incorporate a thigh or buttock exercise with the calf raise.
You will want to target larger muscle groups like the ones in your back, chest, and shoulders. In addition, try to exercise your muscles as the body was built - choose functional exercises.
For example, do curls with free-weights while simultaneously doing a single leg squat. Obviously, some of this takes a lot of agility, practice and help. Look for a good physical therapist to help guide you in such movements.
Do a range of compound exercises like squats with an overhead press or full-body pull-ups. These compound exercises help build muscle and are easier to recover from.
IMPROVE POST-WORKOUT RECOVERY WITH TART CHERRY EXTRACT
Well Theory’s Tart Cherry Extract Supplement contains the concentrated extract from tart cherries. Tart cherries are a natural antioxidant packed with anthocyanins that block the same inflammation enzymes that over-the-counter medications target. Tart cherry’s high concentration of flavonoids helps speed up recovery! Tart cherry extract has been studied in athletes and is very effective for pain relief and inflammation suppression.
Give our Tart Cherry Extract Supplement a try!