Rest and recovery are essential for health, general wellbeing and athletic performance and should be an integral part of all training plans. Here are some of the most effective ways to recover after exercise. Please choose recovery methods according to your personal health situation and your individual training schedule. If you are unsure which recovery method is best for you or how to perform it correctly, consult a professional fitness advisor.
“Active recovery” means that you do a light workout, such as swimming, running, cycling or yoga. During light exercise, which has a perceived effort of low to moderate intensity, you keep your heart rate around 50-60 % of your maximum heart rate. This will increase your blood flow, reduce muscle soreness, help cleanse your system and reduce recovery time.
The goals of temperature-based therapy may vary depending on your health condition. Ice or cold compresses are best for reducing swelling or inflammation. In contrast, heat therapy, sauna, hot baths or hot compresses are recommended for muscle soreness and stiffness. Heat helps with recovery by increasing blood flow and removing toxins.
Stretching is an important part of any workout, especially during the cool down. Stretching allows more blood and oxygen to circulate to your muscles and promotes the release of muscle and soft tissue tension after a high intensity workout. Yoga is also a good form of exercise that promotes stretching of large muscle groups and overall muscular balance. Stretching your muscles effectively at least twice a week will aid recovery and prevent injury.
Massage therapy improves joint mobility, blood circulation and lymphatic system activity. Massage helps with recovery by reducing muscle tension and pain. There are many different types of massage, such as classical massage, sports massage or Thai massage. The recommended type and frequency of massage depends on your overall health and training schedule.
Nutrition & Hydration
If you eat well and drink enough fluids, you will recover faster and be less susceptible to injury. Drinking enough fluids after exercise is important to replace the loss of body fluids and electrolytes. Getting enough nutrients from a healthy diet supports the repair and development of cells, muscles, connective tissue and bones.
Rest is probably the simplest and most cost-effective method of recovery. It is important to rest sufficiently after intense exercise. The length of time you need to rest will depend on your own health and training schedule. Too little rest can lead to overtraining, muscle tension and injury. Make sure you take breaks between sessions and accept them as an important part of your training plan.