Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Top 10 Ways To Recover After Physical Exercises

The ability to recover from exercise is one of the determining factors in the long term success of any training program. The faster and more efficiently you can recover, the better your results will be. To speed up your progress you can use tips from below.

1) Take a post workout shake
Immediately after training, consume a mix of simple carbohydrates and rapidly absorbed protein. This drink should contain a two to one ratio of carbs to protein. A 200 pound man would consume roughly eighty grams of carbs and forty grams of protein. Doing this will help to reduce cortisol, which is a stress hormone that literally eats away muscle tissue, as well as start to shuttle nutrients to the muscles and begin the recovery process.

2) Take a contrast bath after training
This is an old technique that originated in Eastern Bloc countries many years ago to speed up the recovery of their elite athletes. After consuming your post workout shake; use this method of bathing in order to stimulate recovery. Begin by submerging yourself in hot water for one minute. Immediately jump into a tub of ice cold water for a minute. Repeat this process for up to ten minutes. This can also be done in the shower, which is more practical for most people.

3) Do not drop carbohydrate intake too low
Although low carb diets are in vogue these days, this is not an optimal approach for a hard training athlete. Even if you need to lose a good amount of body fat you should still be consuming at least 150-200 grams of carbs per day. Dropping carbs drastically will slow down your thyroid and testosterone production and cause losses in size and strength. To maximize your recovery, you must keep a decent amount of carbs in your diet.

4) Take naps
Naps are a great way to speed up your progress. During sleep, your body releases growth hormone and repairs the damage that has been done to your muscles during intense workouts. Taking a twenty to sixty minute nap once a day is a great way to see faster results.

5) Sleep eight to ten hours a night
As mentioned above, when you are sleeping you are growing bigger and stronger. Without sufficient sleep your results will be less than optimal.

6) Stretch on your off days
This is a great way to increase blood flow to the muscles which helps shuttle in the nutrients necessary for optimal recovery.

7) Avoid stress
This is obviously easier said than done, but it should be noted that excessive amounts of psychological or emotional stress can wreak havoc on your results.

8) Get a massage at least once a week
This is a great way to relax and speed up the healing process of sore muscles.

9) Do recovery workouts
By performing a very light, high rep workout the day after an intense training session and getting some blood into the muscles, you can actually accelerate your ability to recover. For example, the day after a heavy squat workout your legs are likely to be very sore. Instead of doing nothing, try doing 100 bodyweight only squats.

10) Take a week off
Every ten to twelve weeks, your body will start to break down and demand a rest. Taking a week off will actually allow you to get stronger and come back fresh and ready to train hard again. Remember, training is only half of the equation. Without proper recovery techniques your progress will never be optimal. Start using these methods today and watch your results skyrocket.