Working out is an excellent way to keep your body active and healthy. However, providing yourself with a good rest and recovery routine following a workout is equally important.
Adequate rest is essential for empowering your body and maintaining your health at its full potential.
From hot tub hydrotherapy to eating a balanced diet, there are many activities and practices that can help your body recover post-workout.
Caring for your body properly has just as much to do with rest as it does with working out.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of a post-workout rest routine. Keep reading to learn about 7 different and effective ways to boost your recovery!
Why Caring for Your Body Post-Workout is Important
Whether you are a fitness fanatic or brand new to working out, you have likely heard of the importance of getting proper rest following a workout.
But when it comes to how much and what kind of rest to employ, things can quickly get complicated.
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, there are 3 main categories of recovery to consider when creating a post-workout recovery routine:
- Immediate Recovery: The very short rests you take between repetitions of an exercise.
- Short-Term Recovery: The rests you take in between sets of exercises during a workout.
- Training Recovery: The rests you take between workouts when you have returned home.
This article aims to explore the importance of the third category, training recovery. Proper training recovery will involve more than one practice and should include multiple activities that you develop into a routine.
With the help of this type of recovery, your body will be even more capable of completing effective workouts. Plus, it will help you to boost your overall health as well.
Keeping this in mind, let’s examine several of the best recovery options to consider.
7 Great Ways to Help Boost Your Body’s Relaxation and Recovery
As you develop your recovery routine, it is key to break it down into 3 main factors:
- Recovery: The activities you engage in to actively promote bodily recovery.
- Rest: The downtime you allocate to allowing your body to sleep and recuperate.
- Relaxation: The times when you are awake and engaging in activities that ease your mind and alleviate stress or anxiety.
These 3 R’s will help you to create a routine that is ideal for your body and needs, as well as making the most out of the resources available to you.
It is highly important to note that you should always consult with your doctor when introducing any new or extreme workouts or recovery routines into your life. Aside from yourself, your doctor will be the most familiar with your physical ability and state and will be able to offer you the best advice regarding how to properly heal and recover after a workout.
Without further ado, here are our top 7 ways to help your body recover post-workout:
1. Hot Tub Hydrotherapy
If you own a hot tub – or are considering purchasing one to spruce up your backyard – this can provide you with the excellent opportunity to practice hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is the use of water to help treat a variety of different conditions, including physical pain, strained muscles, or general soreness.
Hot tub hydrotherapy is a subset of this treatment that utilizes hot water to help soothe the muscles and body. It can also help to increase the benefits of other recovery practices, such as stretching.
Benefits of hot tub or spa hydrotherapy include:
- Pain and soreness relief
- Improved mobility of the limbs and joints
- Increased circulation to help with healing
- Better sleep patterns
- Greater overall quality of life
Additionally, hot tubs can help you recover from an injury when used in conjunction with regular medical care!
Stretching is one of the most well-known practices used for recovery following a workout.
According to Healthline:
“When you stretch your muscles after a workout, you’re helping to give your body a jump-start on recovery, while also releasing stress and tension, and boosting the flexibility of your joints.”
On top of being great for your health, stretching can also be combined with other recovery methods to boosts its effects. For instance, if you have chosen to use a hot tub for hydrotherapy, it is also beneficial to practice a stretching routine in your spa as well!
Here are 3 great ideas for post-workout stretches that you can use both in and out of a hot tub:
- Torso Twists: Torso twists are dynamic movements that help to stretch your back and activate your core. They can be completed from a seated or standing position wherein you twist your torso left or right while keeping your hips facing forward.
- Hamstring Stretches: Your hamstrings affect many other areas of your body besides just your legs. As such, properly stretching your hamstrings following a workout is essential. Simply extend your legs in front of you until they are perpendicular to your body and reach towards your toes with outstretched arms.
- Cat-Cow: Cat-cow is a yoga position known for helping to regulate breathing and ease muscle pain or tension in your upper and mid-body. There are many variations to the cat-cow pose, but all involve moving from a rounded back to a flexed back in slow succession.
Massaging your muscles and joints post-workout can help to not only alleviate pain but also to prevent next-day soreness.
Additionally, both professional and at-home massages can help to repair damaged tissues by increasing your body’s blood flow and natural ability to recover.
Massages are yet another recovery method that can be enhanced via a hot tub or spa. Hot tubs have high-powered jets designed with the specific intent of providing muscular relief and improving blood flow. Simply sit in your spa and allow the jets to blast your discomfort away – no masseuse required!
As the famous saying goes – hydrate or diedrate!
All jokes aside, proper hydration is one of the most important factors when helping your body to recover after a workout. As you exercise, your body sweats out and expels a ton of fluids. Thus, replacing those fluids afterward is crucial.
While sports drinks that contain electrolytes are often used to boost hydration following exercise, nothing beats a tall glass of water. So treat yourself to the sweet sensation of hydration.
5. Eating the Right Foods
Many fitness and nutrition experts will note that eating a balanced diet is highly important for maintaining your health and enhancing the effectiveness of your workouts.
But did you know that certain foods can actually provide you with extra benefits when paired with your fitness and recovery routine? In particular, carbohydrates and proteins are known for helping your muscles heal and replace glycogen stores after a workout.
According to Mayo Clinic, the following five foods are ideal for a post-workout snack:
- Fruit and yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Low-fat chocolate covered pretzels
- Recovery/protein smoothies
- Lean lunch meat (turkey, chicken, etc) on whole-grain bread
6. Active Recovery
Active recovery is the use of low-intensity exercises and movements after a workout.
Though it may seem counterintuitive at first, keeping your body moving after a workout will help prevent severe soreness and can help hasten the muscle healing and rebuilding process.
Examples of active recovery include:
- Walking on flat or low inclines
- Gentle yoga, such as Restorative Yoga or Hatha Yoga
- Slow swimming or wading
7. Adequate Sleep
Arguably one of the most important factors for helping your body to recover after a workout is getting an adequate amount of sleep.
As you sleep, your body releases hormones that assist in rebuilding and repairing your muscular tissues. This type of regrowth and healing is essential for improving your overall athletic performance and physical capability.
If you are feeling particularly exhausted following a workout, a nap may be in order. Otherwise, simply ensuring you are getting a solid 8 hours of sleep at night will do the trick.
Find the Perfect Hot Tub for Your Hydrotherapy at All Seasons Pools & Spas
If you live in California and are looking for the ideal hot tub or spa to start your own hot tub hydrotherapy routine, All Seasons Pools & Spas has you covered.
With our strong reputation for superior customer satisfaction and products – as well as many testimonials to attest to our quality of service – our team is sure to hook you up with the best hot tub or swim spa for your outdoor space.
If you found this article helpful or enlightening, be sure to check out the rest of our blog while you’re here! We cover a wide variety of topics, including a Complete Guide to Buying Your First Hot Tub!