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5 Tips for Post Workout Recovery

Exercise causes damage to muscles. In the short-term with the appropriate recovery routine, this creates strength growth and a healthy body. But overtime this can create overuse injuries and pain.


If you have fitness or health/wellness goals, then you need to be focusing on your post-workout recovery. It is crucial for maximizing the benefits of exercise, reducing the risk of injury, and promoting overall health and well-being. Here are five tips to get the most out of your post-workout recovery!


1. Proper Nutrition:

   - Consume a balanced meals which will help counteract the breakdown of muscle protein that’s naturally happening. This helps replenish glycogen stores, repair muscle tissue, and promote muscle protein synthesis.

   - Get your protein in within ~30 minutes of your workout.

   - Incorporate carbohydrates to replenish energy stores depleted during exercise. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for sustained energy release.


2. Hydration:

   - Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to stay hydrated. Dehydration can impair performance, hinder recovery, and increase the risk of muscle cramps and fatigue.

   - Consider consuming electrolyte-rich beverages or foods, especially after intense or prolonged exercise, to replenish lost electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium.


3. Active Recovery:

   - Engage in light aerobic exercise or low-intensity activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming on rest days or immediately after a challenging workout. Active recovery promotes blood flow, helps flush out metabolic waste products, and reduces muscle soreness.

   - Incorporate dynamic stretching or yoga to improve flexibility, mobility, and circulation while relieving muscle tension and promoting relaxation.


4. Quality Sleep:

   - Prioritize adequate sleep to support optimal recovery and performance. Aim for 8+ hours of quality sleep per night, as sleep is essential for muscle repair, hormone regulation, and overall recovery processes.

   - Create a relaxing bedtime routine, think of your room as a cave (dark, cool, quiet), limit exposure to electronic devices before bed, and maintain a consistent sleep schedule to improve sleep quality and duration.


5. Recovery Modalities:

   - Utilize various recovery modalities such as dry needling, sauna, cold plunging, foam rolling, or massage to alleviate muscle soreness, reduce inflammation, and enhance recovery.

   - Incorporate active recovery tools like foam rollers, massage balls, or percussion massagers to target specific areas of tightness or discomfort and promote tissue mobilization and relaxation.

a physical therapist performing massage, soft tissue work, trigger point release, joint mobilizations to a patient's lower back

Focus on these strategies to improve your post-workout recovery! Pick one or two areas that you struggle the most with to focus on. You know your body better than anyone. Listen to it and focus on your recovery so that acute ache or pain doesn’t turn into anything long-lasting.


Let’s talk soon,

Dr. Sieara Hinshaw


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