The Best Ways to Recover After Exercise

December 16, 2015


Source: Armando Mejia

With the New Year approaching fast, there’s never been a better time to get a grasp on your health and fitness aspirations. All this time you’ve been promising yourself you’ll start jogging or join a gym? Now’s the time to act on it. Most people actually manage to get themselves exercising come early January, mainly because we promise ourselves we’ll do it and the sinking realisation of another year passing can often shock people into action. The hard part is maintaining this outlook and keeping yourself fit past January.

The reason many people burn out so early is that they poorly comprehend what makes an effective workout, and fail to dedicate enough time to a proper warm-up and workout recovery. Without this, exercising regularly is extremely difficult and can end up doing lasting damage to your body. If you want to successfully exercise, knowing how to heal your body is invaluable knowledge, and there’s plenty of different approaches you can try.

Schedule regular down weeks

Planning specific downtime for your exercise is not only good for your body, but can help you develop a better sense of planning for your overall exercise regimen. With better planning, you’ll see better results, and you’re also more likely to follow through with your exercise commitments if they’ve been planned proactively.

For every month, plan a recovery week in which your routine is stripped of its usual reps and distances. You don’t want to make this a regular thing, and you should always certainly try pushing yourself harder, but without any respite you’ll find it very difficult to make meaningful progress without damaging your body and crippling your motivation.

Sleep more

Sleep is crucial for maintaining both a healthy body and mind, and can have a huge influence on the success of your workout plan. A lack of sleep means it is much harder to tolerate the stresses of training, especially when you’re dealing with fatigue and a lack of the important psychological dampening that we receive from a good night’s sleep.

Developing a regular sleeping routine, free from any distractions which could inhibit this, will ensure a suitable recovery from a day of exercise. Make sure you go to bed at a similar time each night if you need to be up early, and avoid distractions such as screens and other lights which stimulate the mind and make it harder to get suitable rest. A minimum of 8 hours each night should be enough to rejuvenate the body and ensure you can continue exercising comfortably the next day.


Dehydration is one of the worst culprits for halting the progression of regular exercise routines, as well as delaying the recovery process if not attended to. Regular exercise increases the average metabolic rate in a person, which in turn heightens the body’s need for water.

It is recommended that adults drink at least 4 litres of water per day; keep in mind this is fresh water and not water from other sources such as juices or carbonated drinks. Aim to replace any water you’ve lost through perspiration during exercise, as this will ensure you can keep going without the risk of dehydration.

Massage and work on muscle recovery

It has been clinically proven that a deep tissue massage can help the body recover quickly from prolong strenuous activity; this is why so many long-distance runners utilise massages. Massages help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness, promote blood circulation in the body, and induce a more relaxed muscle state which helps heal and repair any damage caused by an intense workout.

When it comes to massages, you can choose two primary means of delivery. You can seek help from a professional masseuse which is expensive buy most effective, or you can choose to buy a mobile massager and administer yourself. This is cheaper but is considered not as effective.

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