Orlando, Fla. – Run, rest, recover, repeat. We know how to run and rest properly, but are we recovering the right way? The American Council on Exercise recommends at least 48 hours in between workouts to give your muscles plenty of time to rebuild, but some recovery techniques may be holding you back from any muscular gains.
Jumping, stepping, pushing yourself past your limits and working out certainly sets you on the path to stronger muscles, but it’s the recovery that determines results.
“When your body breaks down you know you tear those little microfibers, those muscles, and there’s inflammation, bleeding a little bit, that’s why you need the rest and the right nutrients for it to grow,” said Eddie Taubensee, head trainer at Gym Guys Orlando West told Ivanhoe.
What types of recovery are the best types for your body? You may want to skip the ice bath.
One study found that the cells that repair the broken muscle fibers were in hibernation mode for two days, leading to a longer recovery and less gains for the ice bath participants. Instead, try the opposite.
“Saunas are good, some people feel like it does sweat out toxins,” shared Cathy Vail, a trainer at Gym Guys Orlando West.
Active recovery is another beneficial action that keeps the blood flowing.
Start with exerting no more than 50% of your maximum effort, and then gradually reduce it from there. This can mean ten minutes of a light walk or stationary bike ride.
If you’re looking to roll out the soreness faster, a foam roller can decrease muscle tension and improve your range of motion.
Protein is a well-known nutrient to consume if you want to grow your muscles, and the best times to eat it are in the morning, before bed, and pre-and post-workout. Not only does it give our bodies enough amino acids to rebuild the muscles we wear and tear during workouts, but it can help restore the glycogen they’ve lost. Milk, yogurt, peanut butter, nuts, quinoa, cottage cheese, eggs, meat, and fish are all high in protein.