You finally hit that goal on your workout or team. Your legs are on fire, you’re covered in sweat, and you can barely make it out of the gym or off of the field or court. You feel like a rock star, but what comes next?
After a great sports performance comes great recovery – or at least the need for it! If you don’t rest and recover properly, you could see a drop in your next performance or even injure yourself. As you consider your rest and recovery routine, make sure you have these five elements in it.
Keep it hydrated
Hydration is essential for recovery. It’s how you rid toxins from your system and feed your tired muscles. No one wants to get cramps, so make sure you’re getting enough hydration. Electrolytes are good, but plain old water works well, too!
Add some heat
Cold can tighten up your muscles, so you may want to add some heat into your routine. Taking a nice warm bath on the evening of your workout can work wonders, especially if you add some Epsom salt to the water for a soak.
Get solid sleep
Sleep is important for your body’s recovery, even if it may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But you need to get plenty of sleep if you’re going to have a good recovery. How much sleep you need depends on your activity levels, age and other variables. If you’re not sure what amount of sleep is ideal for you, speak to your doctor.
Get comfortable with a foam roller or whatever self-massage routine seems to work for you. As long as you are not injured, breaking up the lactic acid that formed during your workout and realigning any torn fibers via self massage will take your recovery where it needs to go.
Mind your nutrition
Your body needs good, nutritious food after an intense workout. A solid and balanced diet with leafy greens is the way to go. Having some junk food can be really tempting post-workout, but your body needs nutrients to heal.
How you recover post-workout will impact your next performance and how you feel in general over the next day or two! Keep the elements above in mind and ensure your recovery routine is just as solid as your performance.