Want to recover from muscle fatigue faster? Here are seven tips which can give your body the fuel and space it needs to recover and be ready for the next round.
We all know the feeling. You start a workout, you feel full of energy – as if you could go on forever. Gradually, though, that feeling starts to wane. Your muscles start to ache and the dreaded muscle fatigue sets in. Suddenly, they won’t do what you want them to, or lift the weights they could at the beginning of the session. The next morning, your muscles scream at you as you try to get out of bed. You feel drained of energy and it takes you longer to lift things up than usual.
That’s muscle fatigue and if you’ve done any sort of exercise in your life the chances are you’ve felt it at some point. Some people even like the feeling – it’s a sign that exercise is doing its job, but if you don’t recover properly, you could be doing yourself more harm than good.
Fortunately, there are many quick and simple ways you can do that at home.
- Rest up
There’s a reason why top sportspeople usually take a day off after a big game – their bodies need the rest. Usually a few days of rest after heavy exercise should be enough time to recover from muscle fatigue. If it takes any longer, it’s a sign that you may have pushed things too far and you might need to think about scaling things back. During your rest, the body’s immune system is repairing your muscles. The good news here is that once they have rebuilt them, they will be back stronger than before. That’s why scaling up your exercise over time can make you fitter and stronger.
- Cool down
We’ve all heard of the warm up before exercise, but it’s also important to warm down. If you’ve been doing heavy weight training or any type of resistance training, it may help to do a light aerobic cool down such as a short bike ride or run. If you’ve done lengthy endurance training such as a long run, going for a shorter bike ride or jog the next day could be helpful. Low intensity exercise promotes blood flow and encourages the healing process without inflicting further damage to your muscles.
- Massages or myofascial release
Top sports stars spend a fair amount of time on the massage table. This can reduce the severity of delayed muscle pain by easing the tightness of the muscles and increasing tissue elasticity. This can lead to a quicker recovery and will also reduce the chances of muscle fatigue and a muscle related injury during your next workout.
- Cross training
Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and this definitely applies to exercise. If all you’re doing is running, you’re only training one part of your body, as well as putting increased strain on one set of muscles. Varying your type of training such as going for a run one day, lifting weights another, or going for a swim varies the muscle groups which are being exercised. While one group is resting and recovering the others are working overtime. It will also improve your general fitness levels.
In our ‘always-on’ lifestyle, many people find themselves not getting the sleep they need. This is the time when the body produces most of its hormones that help with muscle repair and recovery. Getting the recommended amount of sleep will increase the speed of recovery and have you feeling fitter and healthier.
Food is always important. It gives you the fuel which your body transforms into energy. Having a healthy wholefoods diet which is rich in lean protein, whole carbohydrates and antioxidants can help to trigger the body changes you need between workouts. Great foods to include in your diet include pomegranates, watermelons, eggs, dairy and starchy vegetables. A good glug of coffee can also reduce muscle pain.
Food supplements can also give your body some of the building blocks it needs to improve muscle recovery. These can provide additional levels of substances found in some natural foods and are available online and at most health food shops. Top supplements to try include urolithin A, magnesium, whey protein, creatin and tart cherry juice concentrate.Urolithin A is a bioactive dietary metabolite that is produced by gut bacteria; urolithin A provides a host of benefits, but most people cannot create enough – that’s where Mitopure comes in. Mitopure is highly pure form of urolithin A and this antiaging compound that can benefit anyone looking to proactively optimise cellular health and muscle performance, as it is proven to significantly improves muscle endurance.
Aside from this, it’s important to listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s hurting, when you’re doing too much and when its ready to go again. If you’re taking too long to recover from muscle fatigue you might have been overly ambitious in your training. If you’re recovering more quickly it may be a sign that you’re ready to get going again. Your body is constantly sending you messages. It’s a good idea to listen.
Photograph: Andres Ayrton/Pexels
The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.