We all know the feeling. You wake up, get out of bed and suddenly it hits you like a tonne of bricks. Your whole body is aching and your walk is reduced to a waddle. The soreness from yesterdays workout has kicked in!
Although this feeling is weirdly satisfying, it can also be a hinderance and make it hard to get back in the gym. That's why I am sharing with you my top tips to help you recover from exercise and reduce those pesky DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness if you don't know!).
As our lives get busier and busier, sleep often takes a backseat. In reality, it is essential. It is when your brain and body grows and repairs. The more sleep you get, the better you function. Create a nighttime routine, switch off your technology and catch up on those valuable Z's. Aim for 7-8 hours a night minimum.
Stretch & Roll
Stretching your muscles can lead to improved flexibility, range of motion and posture. Foam rolling helps to break up adhesions between muscle layers and their surroundings, releasing muscular tightness. Both these techniques can reduce the risk of injury, as well as support recovery and contribute to less severe DOMS. Try to stretch after every workout and foam roll a minimum of 3 times a week.
Stress has a surprisingly powerful effect on your recovery from exercise, plus high stress levels are linked with fatigue and muscular tension which can affect your energy levels and make it harder to train in the first place. Be sure to schedule some time out into your diary and give my my top tips to reduce stress blog post a read.
It is essential to support your training with a balanced diet which supplies you with all the valuable nutrients you need to recover. This includes carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores, protein to facilitate muscular growth and repair, and tonnes of greens to keep your vitamin levels topped up. Don't forget to stay hydrated too, as dehydration can lead to poor cognitive functioning and low energy levels.
It is important to note that if you don't experience DOMS, it doesn't mean you're not training hard enough. As long as you're using the principles of progressive overload and constantly challenging your body then you will be making progress. Don't judge the success of a workout on how severe your DOMS are. Instead, be happy if you wake up without any soreness as it means that you're taking good care of your body!
Let me know your tips in the comments below & happy training!