If you are an active person, we’ll bet that recovery may not be particularly high on your list of priorities. But if you do work out regularly then recovery should be just as high up in your agenda as the exercise itself.
Why? Because the body repairs and strengthens itself between workouts and continuous training with no rest or recovery can eventually have lasting effects on even the fittest individual. Recovery doesn’t need to be something that is difficult to incorporate into your exercise regime. In reality, there are simple things that you can always do to keep your body in peak condition.
One of the most vital aspects of recovery is being properly hydrated. Working out means working up a sweat and when you sweat, you also lose electrolytes through excreted salt and potassium. These ionic particles carry electrical charges throughout the body and keep water stores in your cells at the necessary levels, so muscles and organs continue to perform.
For example, in a 5km run, you can lose 250ml+ water from your system, depending on running conditions and your fitness. Not only does this water need to be replenished post-run, but your body also needs water to help keep joints lubricated and to help in converting food to energy beforehand.
How much water should you drink to replenish your body? This differs according to a person’s weight and height; we’d recommend using a hydration calculator to find your advised intake.
In the 30 to 45-minute window after your cool down, feed your muscles with a combination of carbohydrates and protein. In this time period, the muscles will best absorb the nutrients they need for growth and recovery.
After this period, it’s still OK to eat but the chances of muscles experiencing ‘starvation’ and causing aches and soreness later are increased. The aim is to replenish your glycogen (energy stores), decrease protein breakdown and to assist protein synthesis.
Getting a massage will help loosen up the body, increasing oxygen and blood flow into muscles, removing lactic acid build-up (which is what makes you sore), and delivering nutrients from your body to your muscle. Massages will help to reduce tension and fluid build-up in fatigued muscles. Gentle therapy will relax muscles through heat generated circulation and stretching and can aid in a quicker recovery.
If it isn't possible to see a professional, you can always purchase a foam roller that will help stretch and loosen up your muscles at home or gently massage your legs and arms yourself. Did you know that VOYA has a specialised Muscle Recovery Range which is ideal for self-massage?
If we’re been honest, a lot of active individuals probably will neglect stretching both before and after exercising. However, just a few minutes of post-workouts stretching can really help keep the body healthy and less susceptible to niggles and injuries. Gentle stretching movements can be done while watching the TV or chatting to friends post workout and can really assist in loosening hip flexors, hamstrings, back and calves. Thus, helping to keep your body in optimal shape.
We mean actual rest, both mental and physical. Sleep is one of the most important ways to get your body to quickly recover from both the physical and mental demands of hard training. Without enough sleep, the brain's ability to function can be impacted, decreasing concentration levels and co-ordination thus putting additional stresses on the body when it is put through regular intense workouts.
While we sleep, we move into different sleep patterns. It is during the deeper phases of sleep where most of the physical recovery and anabolic hormone production happens. Allowing our bodies to repair, rebuild and replenish.
We’ve all heard of marathon runners and GAA teams talking about the recovery ice bath session that awaits them win or lose, but what’s the thinking behind it? Cold therapy exposes your muscles to an extremely low temperature in order to soothe the micro tears in your muscle fibres and the resulting aches and pains from repeat exercise.
For those of you who prefer the heat, a warm bath or shower can also promote blood flow which can remove waste and toxins such as lactic acid from the body and initiate muscle and tissue healing. To enhance this experience further, make your post-workout bath a seaweed one with VOYA’s Lazy Days. The combination of seaweed and sea salt can further aid in the muscle recovery process.
VOYA’s specifically formulated duo, Serenergise and Feel the Heat was designed to help aid muscle recovery and soothe aches and pains. These products are perfectly suited for the active person or indeed anyone who suffers from muscle tension and fatigue.
Serenergise is our muscle healing and fatigue busting body oil which combines powerful antioxidants, Evening Primrose & Rosehip oils, Bergamot and Ginger which work in synergy to relax muscles and reduce tension, while the detoxifying benefits of seaweed help to break down lactic acid and speed up muscle recovery.
For instant relief to muscle tension, aches and pains add Feel the Heat, a soothing warming gel to your gym bag. The unique blend of Fucus Serratus seaweed and other natural ingredients help break down lactic acid and to lead to reduced swelling whilst eliminating toxins.