“Recovery is the cornerstone of performance.”
This quote by Dr. Phil Maffetone sums it up well. Athletes need recovery to perform well, and recovery comes in many forms. One way you can recover faster is by getting enough sleep every night. Another vital recovery strategy is staying hydrated throughout the day.
Here are 10 ways you can get the most out of your recovery!
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids (Especially Water)
Well duh… But did you know that the more you sweat, the higher concentration of salt in your blood and cells can cause dehydration if not replenished quickly with fluids such as water or sports drinks? Drinking enough fluid will help reduce muscle cramping along with other post-workout symptoms like fatigue and dizziness caused by low electrolyte levels in critical areas throughout our bodies, including muscles, joints, nerves, or brain cells.
Drinking plenty of water after exercise is just one way to stay hydrated during intense activities that generate heat for long periods at a time when we’re exposed to high temperatures.
2. Get The ZZ’s You Need
If you want to recover well from your workouts, sleep is an essential part of the process. It’s also important for good health to perform everyday tasks and feel energetic throughout each day.
A study in one particular university had a sample size of twenty-four participants who were required to undergo intense resistance training workout sessions twice per week over an eight-week period while sleeping either six or ten hours nightly. At the end of their trial, it was observed that those able to get more than seven hours on average every night saw greater increases in muscle mass as compared to individuals getting only 6 hours or less.
3. Do Light Stretching or Yoga to Help Loosen Your Muscles and Joints
Stretching and yoga help prevent injury by increasing a person’s range of motion. This is extremely important if you constantly train your muscles, including the ligaments, which you can easily strain when not properly warmed up or cooled down.
It also helps with muscle recovery because it increases blood flow to the area in need of assistance as well as opening up tight areas that may cause pain during workouts such as knees, shoulders, hamstrings, etc.
4. Take A Break From Sitting
Get up and move around for at least 5 minutes every hour! Athletes should take a break every hour to aid recovery. Recovery is the process of restoring our energy and getting us ready for future exercise, so we must stay active when not exercising to facilitate this restoration as much as possible.
5. Eat Healthy Foods – Training is Not a License to Eat Junk
It’s not uncommon to think all your training gives you a free pass to eat whatever you want!
But really you should try to eat healthy foods to help aid your recovery from strenuous activities like running, cycling, etc. Certain nutrient-rich foods can be beneficial in reducing muscle pains such as cramping that might occur while exercising. One excellent source of potassium is found in bananas which are capable of helping prevent muscles aches even when one has experienced excessive fatigue due to exercise.
6. Reduce Stress
If you’re deep into long training sessions chances are you need more time than most people for your body’s cardiovascular system (heart rate), nervous system (brainwaves), and muscles to relax after a workout. You can benefit significantly by practicing meditation techniques such as mindfulness breathing, which will help slow down all three systems.
7. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally as Well as Physically
Mental health and well-being is a key part of life. But endurance training takes a lot of time, and sometimes social interaction takes a back seat. But prioritizing spending time with friends and family can aid your recovery in a few ways. One way is that spending time with others allows you to experience positive emotions and create social bonds, which have been shown in research studies as important factors in enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself after intense physical activity. In addition, this also helps you recover by reducing negative stressors such as anxiety while you’re at rest.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Athletes should consider practicing mindfulness meditation to help aid recovery. Mindfulness is a form of mental training that helps athletes become more aware and focused in the present moment, which allows them to pay attention better while not dwelling on past errors or worrying about future outcomes too much.
9. Stay Focused With Goals
Goals give you permission to recover. Goals help athletes determine what is working or not when they train by providing feedback on whether something needs improvement or focusing more on specific areas of the body instead of others that aren’t exposed enough during workouts. In addition, setting practical fitness-related goals takes into consideration psychological aspects such as motivation levels, among other things which aid with maintaining positive mental health while recovering from an injury.
10. Be Patient with Yourself
The reason athletes should take some time away is that taking a break allows their bodies to have an opportunity for much-needed repairs and restoration of physical fitness levels after strenuous activity.
It can be hard to embrace rest and recovery. You may feel like your time is too valuable or that more active workouts will help you get better at your sport. But this isn’t true! Recovery is just as important for athletes as their workout regimen because it allows them to work out harder than they would otherwise. We hope our article has helped shed some light on how crucial recovery is for athletic success.