We all have such busy schedules but taking time to take care of yourself and your body can be so beneficial! Prioritizing post-workout muscle recovery can prevent injury and allows your muscles proper time to rest and repair. Whether it’s dealing with muscle soreness or focusing on muscle repair after an intense workout, our bodies instinctively know what we need, and it's so important that we honor these feelings. These are some of our favorite ways to incorporate post-workout recovery to allow ourselves time to reset and recover, both physically and mentally.
1. Stretch It Out
Stretching, a key element of any workout recovery routine yet something we often skip, is the cornerstone of a productive recovery day. Not only does stretching help increase flexibility, but it is also essential in reducing post-exercise muscle soreness and stiffness. Stretching can also help stimulate blood flow to your muscle tissue, which aids in muscle recovery. Best of all, you don’t have to spend an extended period of time stretching in order to feel the benefits. Start small by doing 5-10 minutes a day, when you’re watching TV or before bed, take some time to give back to your body. We love adding Megan’s 7 Minute Stretch to our daily routines, and you can find our entire library of guided stretching videos here.
2. Outdoor Walk
Recovery does not mean you have to stay stagnant all day long. If daily movement is something you like to practice, consider going for a long walk as a low-impact activity. It’s a great way to promote muscle recovery while engaging different muscle groups through active recovery, even on your rest days. Put your children in the stroller, your dog on a leash, and head out on your favorite route. We love to utilize walking as a way to connect with ourselves as well as other people, so next time you’re out on a walk try giving your long-distance bff a phone call or catch up with your favorite family member who you haven’t talked to in awhile. If you want to turn your walk up a notch, use your TSS 1lb weights around your ankles or wrists!
3. Practice Yoga
Incorporating yoga into your recovery not only will work additional muscles you might not activate in higher-impact workouts, but it will also help you calm your mind and de-stress. Learn about the importance of breathing, being intentional in your movement, and the advantages of slowing down throughout each class. We love to use yoga as a way to feel more connected to ourselves intrinsically. Get grounded and feel good by trying Tracey’s 17 Min Yoga w/ Core Focus or her 27 Min Restorative Yoga to Destress.
4. Engage Your Mind
Fitness and working out is not only about physical stamina, but also about mental stamina. It takes a lot of energy and brain power to commit to a workout routine, finish strong on each exercise, and consistently move your body in a way that feels good to you. Train your mind like you train your body by reading a chapter from an inspirational book, trying prompted journaling, or learning a new skill like speaking another language.
5. Try Meditation
What better way to slow down and show yourself appreciation than through meditation. Meditation can help to lower your heart rate and promote better sleep, which is essential for muscle repair and growth and can even help reduce muscle fatigue. In The Sculpt Society app, you can find a few amazing guided meditations that will help you to manage your stress levels and allow you to be more present in your life. Some of our most beloved TSS Meditation’s are Kelsey Patel’s 6 Min Stress Release class if you’re looking for a restful night’s sleep, and Ameerah Omar’s 15 Min Emotions Meditation when looking to enter a place of mindfulness.
6. Nutrition and Hydration
Post-workout nutrition is a crucial part of the recovery process. When we engage in physical activity, our muscles undergo stress and micro-tears, and the body requires essential nutrients to repair and rebuild them. Adequate protein intake is vital as it provides the building blocks for muscle repair and growth. Incorporating a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, such as chicken, fish, or plant-based sources, along with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, ensures a steady supply of nutrients to support muscle recovery. Additionally, staying well-hydrated is important for muscle recovery. Replenishing fluids lost through sweat during exercise is crucial to prevent dehydration and promote efficient recovery time!
Prioritizing post-workout muscle recovery is essential for maintaining your overall fitness and well-being after a tough workout. Taking the time to care for your body after a workout helps prevent injuries and allows your muscles adequate time to rest and repair. Incorporating a variety of these recovery methods into your fitness routine can yield significant health benefits, not only physically but mentally as well. Remember, by listening to your body and honoring what it needs, you can reset, recharge, and maximize the benefits of your fitness journey.