When you’re an avid fitness enthusiast, you want to be aware of all of the ins and outs that go hand in hand with regular exercise. Whether you practice low-impact exercises or you take your fitness to the next level, you can start incorporating practices to ease muscle soreness and improve your recovery time. If you’re keen to learn some new techniques, here are a handful of habits that fitness enthusiasts should follow for muscle recovery.
One of the most important habits that fitness enthusiasts should follow for muscle recovery is to prioritize sleep. Adequate sleep aids in recovery, muscle building, strength, and endurance. Without proper sleep, reaction time, performance, and recovery time suffers. You are more likely to beat personal bests when you have had a good night’s sleep. Going to bed an hour earlier may make a huge difference when it comes to your workout schedule, so why not give it a try?
Rolling techniques have been a reliable go-to method for many sports people for years. If you haven’t already tried lacrosse ball rolling, this might be the ideal place to start. This self-massage technique allows you to trigger point specific areas that are holding muscle tension. Getting into this habit will help you prevent muscle tension and soreness from building up in your body.
As you may have experienced, muscle soreness takes place when you haven’t worked out in a while or after strenuous workouts. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and takes place between 24 to 72 hours after exercise. You feel a lasting dull, aching pain that comes along with stiffness or tenderness. This natural process happens in the process of rebuilding and recovering muscle tissue. Fortunately, there are natural supplements that can aid in dealing with DOMS.
Another habit that fitness enthusiasts should follow for muscle recovery is stretching. Research shows that it helps increase range of motion and decrease muscle soreness, as well as your risk of injuries. There are 3 types of stretching: static, dynamic, and pre-contraction stretches. Static stretching, where you hold a position while a muscle is being stretched, is recommended post-exercise and for older populations.
Dynamic stretching, where you move a limb through its full range of motion to the end ranges and repeat, is recommended pre-workout for warming up. Pre-contraction stretching, where you contract a muscle or its antagonist before stretching, is highly effective for immediate gains. PNF stretching (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), the most common type of pre-contraction stretching, can be done by contracting a muscle at 75 to 100% of maximal contraction, holding for 10 seconds, and relaxing.
Even those who love working out need to take regular rest days throughout the week. Allowing yourself at least one day of rest will not only help you to perform better on the rest of your workout days, but it will also give your muscles a much-needed chance to recover between sessions. Skipping rest days can bring on fatigue, plateaus, injuries, and even compromise your immune system. Simultaneously, this may cause you to resent exercise and fall out of your routine.
Another practice that can help you recover if you are a fitness enthusiast is a yoga practice. It can help decrease muscle soreness, release tightness in your body, and improve flexibility along the way too. Yoga is the ideal form of exercise for your rest days if you do not want to be totally inactive. Incorporate it into your workout schedule and you’ll feel a difference, not only in your body but in your mental health.
Now that you know the main habits that fitness enthusiasts should follow for muscle recovery, you can be on track to feeling and looking your best. These practices are extremely easy to incorporate into your everyday routine. Soon enough you will be able to notice a huge difference in the way you feel during and after your workouts. These habits will also keep you healthy and happily engaged in your fitness journey.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor