Are you exhausted this week? Body hurts, mind is all over the place, cant fall asleep but cant stay awake? We’ve all been there. And it sounds like you need to show your body some tlc. Recovery is just as important as the rest of your training, but it is the one most of us leave out. It is hard to dedicate the extra time when there are so many other things stacking up on the to-do list, but there are some easy things you can do that will take care of the body and quiet the mind.
Spending even five minutes with our favorite post-workout tool is an almost foolproof way to keep your body happier. Foam rolling can fight muscle soreness by breaking up tension and boosting circulation. Focussing on the lower body is a great way to start, especially if you are short on time. Spending even 1-2 minutes per muscle group will make a big difference. Glutes, hamstrings, quads, and the IT band. Have one extra minute? Also hit your upper back and stretch out your spine.
Some call it a cool down walk. Some call it a recovery run. Some do 15 minutes of slow flow yoga. However you end your workout, make sure it involves slow, intentional movement. It is too easy to run straight from the track to the shower to the office, but this can backfire the next day. Taking a walk around the block or a nice stretch session can work wonders to flush lactate, increase circulation and counter muscle pain and fatigue.
Let’s be honest, THIS is the best advice out there. Who doesn’t appreciate being told that eating more is healthy?! It is generally accepted that we have about 60 minutes after a workout to get our refuel on. A body that works hard needs carbs and protein and a replacement of glycogen electrolytes to properly recover and do it all again tomorrow. A lot of people can’t eat after a hard training session, enter the smoothie. An easy way to get in all your body needs, a recovery smoothie is a delicious treat to look forward to. Looking for recipes? Check out a few of our favorites here! Looking for something more substantial? Think combos of an easily digestible carbohydrate and protein - greek yogurt and fruit, eggs and toast, chicken salad and rice, peanut butter sandwich. Eat what you are craving, your body will thank you.
Epsom Salt Bath
This one might be a bit more of a luxury, but worth the time if you have it. Soaking in a warm (not hot) Epsom Salt bath for 15 minutes after a particularly tough workout is known to help relieve soreness, reduce inflammation and speed up recovery. For an extra benefit, try the lavender infused salts for a well earned relaxation boost.
Take a Nap
The biggest counter to fatigue? Sleep. We know that sleeping more at night is advised, but taking a timeout during the day might be your golden ticket. Closing your eyes for 20 minutes in the afternoon is proven to boost mood and energy levels. Just enough time to let the mind and body rest, but not so much time you will be groggy when you wake up. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not the behavior of lazy people, power naps are a tool of the most successful.
We might be biased, but this one is our absolute favorite. Recovery compression is an unbeatable way to support your muscles and encourage healing. Wearing DFND graduated compression is like giving a hug to your sore muscles. Sliding into a pair of Recovery Tights at the end of the day decreases lactic acid build up, forces more oxygen to your muscles and will increase your blood flow, significantly reducing delayed onset muscle soreness. MRI based studies have also shown improvements in muscle recovery.