10 Ways to Recover During the Day after Training

10 Ways to Recover During the Day after Training

Whether you just had your 6am or your 6pm session, what your body craves after training is recovery. You have an entire day plus a night, or vice versa, to make sure you are ready to go back to the gym. If your training regimen usually consists of 4 to 5 workouts per week, there are ways to improve your rest periods even when you are not actively seeking recovery.

1. Take a nap

Ideally, you should try to sleep in the middle of the day. If you have the opportunity to lay down, napping for less then 45 min (to avoid getting into a deep sleep) might be your best option for recovery. If you can’t realistically lay down, just cross your arms on your desk, listen to a guided meditation or calm music, and relax your body for 10 minutes. You might not feel tired physically or mentally but your central nervous system needs to reset in order to avoid flight or fight mode.

2. Plan your snacks and meals ahead

Eating healthy may sound redundant when talking about meals post workout. However, finding the right foods to eat, with the right amount of carbs, protein and fats can be tricky especially when it seems like the only option is a takeaway. This is where meal planning comes into its own. When you plan ahead you are closer to a perfect recovery.

3. Hydrate

Muscles (fascia) need water throughout the day to aid recovery. Make sure you replenish electrolytes, liquids, and sodium lost during the workout.

4. Eat enough

If your training consisted of weight training or HIIT, it is especially important to eat the right amount of carbohydrates (and protein) to replenish glycogen stores.

5. Get a massage

If you can spare the time, a sports massage is a great way to improve blood circulation. You can ask your massage therapist to work on muscles and areas which you would never have been able to reach on your own.

6. Get the right amount of sleep

Again, planning is key here. If by going to bed at 12am you suddenly realise that you won’t get your 7 hours of sleep by 6am the next day, there is nothing you can do to make up that time! Even if you do not feel sleepy by 11pm, dim the lights, close the shutters, and wear blue light blocking glasses to aid rest. This will help boost your recovery.

7. Take your supplements

Whichever they might be: Omega 3, magnesium, vitamin C, probiotics…

Supplements are an additional resource which can help recovery. If you are unsure which one to take, consult a specialized coach or a doctor.

8. Stretch

You might not feel the aftermath of your training straight away, but waking up the next morning can be brutal. Stretching prevents muscle soreness. Instead of waiting until the last minute, focus on one area which has been overworked during training and focus your stretches there. You will be grateful when you can walk and move your arms properly the following day!

9. If you are sitting down at work, stand up!

An hour sitting down goes by fast. You might not be conscious of it but your hip flexors and traps certainly are. Every 45 minutes plan to stand up and walk around the room. Sitting is basically being in a squat, if you don’t relieve your legs regularly, they might become stiffer when it’s time to hit the gym.

10. Journal

Are you keeping up with your goals? Are you feeling run down by too many events in your life? These are not psychological questions reserved for therapists. It’s important to assess that you are not overwhelming your nervous system. It is the first indicator signalling that you need to take an extra rest day or take a break from a stressful task.

Journalling is a great time to judge what’s really going with you. When you write down your thoughts you evaluate your mood and if the direction of your life is in line with your objectives. This is ultimately going to aid your recovery.

Tamara Akcay

Tamara is a journalist based in London. She is a specialist in fitness, writing specifically on the topic of CrossFit.

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