How many of us skip the post exercise stretches in a rush to get back to work or home after a class? And then wonder why our legs feel like lead weights and we don’t have the energy to face another workout!
While those post-exercise aches can be gratifying – no pain, no gain – if we don’t recover properly it can be hard to get back to the gym and keep motivated.
So what should your post-workout recovery plan include? We thought we would find out what the pros do to recover after a workout. Here are their top tips.
Post-Workout Recovery Tips
#1: Danielle Peazer, professional dancer and UK ambassador for Dr Teal’s
Stress can affect the way we recover from exercise causing muscle tension and fatigue. Danielle recommends yoga stretches to de-stress after a hectic day or workout by using controlled movements to stretch out tight muscles, the lower back and your spine. She combines these with breathing exercises and listens to chill out music to really relax and de-stress.
Stretches also help increase your flexibility and mobility, reducing the risk of injury and making your workouts that much better. They can also help prevent the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)!
Watch the video below to see how Danielle relaxes both body and mind.
#2: Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach
In an article for the Guardian newspaper, Joe Wicks shares his top tips for staying fit including focusing on sleep! He says, “People underestimate the impact of lack of sleep; not only will the intensity of your workouts suffer, but you are likely to crave sugary foods the next day. My top tips for deep sleep are to switch off your laptop and mobile at least 30 minutes before bed and leave them in another room. Ditch the bedroom TV; listen to music instead. Get a comfortable eye mask. It takes getting used to but trust me, it will allow you to sleep deeper and longer.”
A good night’s sleep will give you the energy to make the most of your workout and allow your body to repair and fully recover, ready for another day.
#3: Chris James, yoga and meditation expert
Chris praises the benefits of Epsom Salt for post-recovery in an article for Get The Gloss. Epsom Salt is magnesium and sulphate, minerals that help regulate your body’s process, flush out toxins, and relieve aching and inflamed muscles. Chris says, “Traditionally Epsom Salt is used to prepare foot baths, intended to soothe sore feet. I often advise my clients to have a long hot soak after a race, marathon or Iron Man competition because in a bath the magnesium sulphate can easily be absorbed into the skin, reducing the inflammation that was created through physical exertion.”
We recommend that you aim to have an Epsom Salt bath at least twice a week for boosting your overall health and wellbeing. Post-exercise pour two scoops of Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution into running water and then soak for 20 minutes to allow the magnesium sulphate to do its stuff!
#4: Rhian Stephenson, nutritionist and spinning gym Psycle
As Joe Wicks points out, without enough sleep we tend to crave all the wrong things and can undo all the good a workout does by eating sugary foods after exercising. Instead we need the right kinds of food and nutrients to help our bodies recover and give us energy to enjoy the rest of the day. Nutritionist, Rhian Stephenson says, “There is a lot of focus on what to eat before a workout (ideally, nothing for 60 minutes beforehand – if you’re starving have a date or half a banana), but what you eat after can really make a difference. For the muscles to recover, they will need protein to repair tissue, carbohydrate to replenish glycogen, and vitamins and minerals.”
Our favourite post exercise snack is a bowl of hummus and a whole-wheat pitta. The chickpeas in the hummus provide plenty of protein and carbs and the whole-wheat pitta gives us slow-release energy.
#5: Zanna Van Dijk, personal trainer and blogger
To help get rid of tension, knead away knots and lengthen muscles, a post-workout massage would be nice. But not many of us have the time or can afford to get a professional massage after every session in the gym or exercise class. Many experts, like personal trainer Zanna Van Dijk, recommend using foam rollers to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and speed up your recovery time. Zanna says, “Foam rolling helps to break up adhesions between muscle layers and their surroundings, releasing muscular tightness.”
While you might treat yourself to a deep tissue massage once in a while, a ‘self-massage’ with a foam roller will give you many of the benefits without breaking the bank!
#6: Danielle Peazer, professional dancer and UK ambassador for Dr Teal’s
As well as doing things to help our body recover after a workout we also need to stay motivated to keep fit and active and achieve our goals. While the tips below from Danielle Peazer are great if you are finding it hard to exercise, they are also fantastic for keeping motivated after a tough workout. These are great as part of your post-recovery so that you’re motivated and focused for your next workout.
- Make a plan – decide what you want to achieve next (such as working on your abs), find 3-4 exercises that will help you, and write them down.
- Inspiration – screenshot some of the fitness Instagrammers you want to look like and be inspired by what they do.
- Workout with a friend – call up a friend and arrange to do a fitness class together or do a #buddyworkout in the gym.
- Make a playlist of your favourite songs – a playlist of songs that you really enjoy listening to will make working out fun.
- Have a goal – if you have a goal you can measure your performance after each workout and get motivated to do better next time.
Danielle Peazer is a UK ambassador for Dr Teal’s, introducing the benefits of Epsom Salt to her fans. She says:
“I discovered Dr Teal’s when I was working in the US and I’m so glad they are now in the UK. These Epsom salts are infused with aromatherapy oils making them an incredible user friendly way to get a vital dose of magnesium into the body and I’m keen to share their benefits with my followers.”
We have the perfect pre and post workout Epsom Salt soaking solution, ideal for soothing muscle aches and pains, and for speeding up recovery to optimise your performance. Click here for more details.