This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.
Just got back into working out and it feels like a bus just hit you? Or maybe you have been working out and over did it to the point where it just hurts EVERYWHERE. In this article we are going to talk about the basics on how to recover after a workout to improve recovery time and decrease soreness.
First off, let me say it is great that you are working out. It doesn’t matter what type or form of exercise you are getting, as long as you are moving to become healthier you should be proud.
One of the best forms of working out I have found over the years to get healthy and lose weight is yoga.
Yes yoga! So many people believe yoga is all about stretching and it is not possible to get in shape by doing yoga.
Yoga is an amazing way to get in shape and lose weight.
With that being said, you will have moments where you need to develop a plan to recover faster, especially if you are new to yoga and working out in general.
Regardless if you are new or have been working out for years, these tips will speed up your recovery time and get you ready for you next workout.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water throughout the day before and after your workouts is essential to recovery.
Remember, now that you are working out you are losing more water from your body and you need to get it back.
It is important to drink lots of water because 60% of you body is water.
Even the slightest percentage in drop of water content in your body throws your body off balance.
Now the question is how do you drink more water?
I get it, it is hard to keep track and we all have busy schedules that cause us to forget to do the most essential things for our bodies.
One way you could drink more water is by buying 1 gallon water jugs and putting the name of the day on the water jug.
Say it’s Monday, what I would do is write “Monday” at the top of the jug and draw lines with times next to them to remind me to drink that amount of water by that time.
My main way of keeping track of the water I drink is by filling up a half gallon water jug and drinking about 1 ½ to 2 jugs of water. It is easier to remember and keep track when you don’t have to fill it up as much.
2. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt baths are not only relaxing for your mind, they are super effective in helping relieve muscle soreness.
When I was in high school I was part of the football team. Every summer we had a two week boot camp that required us to train 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours at night.
The amount of pain I felt was insane!
Every night I would soak in an epsom salt bath and it helped ease my pain tremendously and put me into a relaxed state, helping me recover faster to get ready for training the next day.
The science behind it is that when epsom salt is dissolved in water, it releases magnesium and sulfates.
Magnesium is responsible for a lot of important processes in your body such as regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels, but two of the two main ones that pertain to working out are that it is responsible for muscle and nerve function.
With that being said, people do not get nearly enough magnesium in their diet, and when you are working out you are losing even more of it, which increases your need for magnesium.
When you soak in epsom salts, the much needed magnesium is absorbed through your body, increasing your magnesium levels, which aids in relaxing muscles and relieving soreness.
Magnesium helps your body use up all its lactic acid, which is responsible for the soreness you feel after a workout. You will feel overcome with a feeling of relief and relaxation just by soaking in a bath for 30 minutes.
For added benefits of relaxation add 20 drops of lavender oil.
3. Go For A Walk
The worst thing you can do the day after a workout is to sit all day. Not moving builds up the lactic acid in your body and will increase your pain.
Rest is essential to the body but too much rest will cause it harm.
That is why nice gentle movements are essential to increasing your recovery time.
Go outside for a nice 20 minute walk and just focus on relaxing.
This isn’t a time for you to worry about how many calories you are burning or how fast you are walking. Simply just allow your body to relax, enjoy the outside, and go for a leisurely stroll.
Walk with a friend or listen to an audio book.
4. Self massage
If a certain area in your body gets more stiff than the rest you may need to massage yourself to relax the muscle.
Use a nice lotion and begin to massage the area of your body that is stiff.
The goal is to get the body more relaxed and increase the blood flow throughout your body.
Lack of blood flow means that part of your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, which is essential to it’s healing.
Really begin to connect with your body when you attempt these massages and if it feels like you are overdoing it, stop. Never push to the point of severe pain.
Listen to your body, it knows best!
5. Protein Sources
Nutrition is another key element that is going to help speed up recovery time.
Protein is an essential source that will help rebuild your muscle tissue and make you stronger.
If you are more into whey protein and just want a protein shake that tastes like a treat we highly recommend any flavor from MusclePharm. Here is our favorite:
Realize that you don’t have to have a protein shake after your workouts to achieve relief, but they are great, convenient ways to get in the needed protein immediately after a workout.
But if you really don’t like protein shakes or they are not within your diet or budget parameters, there are most definitely foods you can eat to obtain adequate amounts of protein.
- Chicken is the best learn meat
- A great quick way to get plant based protein in after a workout is by adding chia seeds to a smoothie or shake. We wrote an article on the top 7 best soy free sources of plant based protein if you are interested in other sources of protein while on a plant based diet.
6. Recovery Flow
Out of everything on this list, movement is the best way to release lactic acid. Completing a series of stretches or a gentle yoga flow will help your muscles during the recovery process. Remember during this flow to take it easy and focus on your breath.
Here is a relaxing, restorative video that will help you loosen up all your muscles. Remember to go at your own pace.
Everything we have mentioned in this article will allow you to speed up your recovery times and get you feeling great again.
Being interested in this topic shows you are taking your healthy lifestyle seriously.
For my beginners out there, stick with your yoga or workout plan. At the start it will feel like it is kicking your butt on a daily basis, but it will get better and you will see results!
Everyone may be telling you downward dog is a rest pose and it feels like your shoulders are about to burn off.
Ally and I have been there. Rest assure with enough effort down dog will soon become your resting pose. And that goes for all of you, even if you aren’t doing yoga and are beginning on another journey of exercise.
It always feels impossible in the beginning, but if you stick through it you will see the benefits and get real results.
When I first started, I did yoga once a week and by month 3 downward facing dog started to feel like a rest pose. All good things come with time.
Stick with your plan and you will see great results. We are here to help and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us!
Ally is the co-founder of GroundedPanda.com with her fiance Victor. She began practicing yoga at the beginning of her career as a Registered Nurse to cope with the physical and mental stress it put on her, and fell in love with it. Her goal is to help beginners develop a fulfilling practice without the intimidation. Besides managing this website, she loves hiking with her loving fiance and cuddling with her two silly cats.