All of our classes start with a great warm-up – it’s really important to get your body ready for the exertion to come - and a few post-workout stretches but what else can you do to avoid pain, injury and to get the very best out of your workout?
Why is recovery important?
Your recovery time is when your muscles and tissue repair and strengthen. Muscles can take up to 48 hours to rebuild. Working them again too soon can lead to breakdown instead of building up, that’s why it’s a great idea to vary your workouts and never work the same muscle groups two days running.
Replace lost fluids
You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and your instructor will remind you to rehydrate during the class. Replacing your lost fluids after exercise is a must for boosting your recovery. Having plenty of water in your system will improve every bodily function.
You can count on the fact that you’ll get warm when you workout, increasing your heart rate and toning muscles does that. Adding a layer and staying warm after exercise is really important so that your muscles don’t cool down too quickly. When your body is a lot hotter than your surroundings, there’s a chance of catching a cold or virus or muscle injury.
Stretch it out
For some people the post-exercise cool-down stretch is the best bit! After a tough workout, gentle stretching is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover. Stretches ensure that your breathing and heart rate slow down to its normal resting rate more gradually and naturally.
No piggin’ out!
It’s true that you need to refuel after exercise but there’s no justification for stuffing your face with cake and crisps! My top tip is to prepare a balanced meal before your class or take a healthy snack or banana with you so that you’re not tempted to reach for the bad stuff as soon as you get home.
The best thing you can do to recover quickly is to listen to your body and take time to properly rest and relax. ‘Time is a great healer’ they say and this is true for muscles as well as broken hearts (also a muscle!)
So by all means book in a massage or take an ice bath but sometimes doing nothing is the best thing of all. Good sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. The body uses this time to repair and grow.
For lots of ways to get your body hot, sweaty and in need of recovery, check out the great range of exercise classes at www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk