Muscle Recovery

Muscle Recovery


Muscle RecoveryMuscle recovery is important. When we train, the body adapts to the stresses placed on it. Adaptions include increased heart rate, blood lactate, body temperature and oxygen consumption. These adaptions take anywhere between minutes to days to get back to normal levels. If we do not give our body time to recover we can be at risk of overtraining and as a result we may feel depressed and fatigued, have an increased resting heart rate, experience persistent muscle soreness as well as increasing susceptibility to infections.

The body will recover by itself over time. However there are many ways we can manage muscle recovery to help speed it up and get back to training at 100%. Below are a few ways we can speed up recovery:

1. SLEEP – Getting good quality sleep will help muscle recovery. Studies suggest 8 hours of good sleep is ideal to help recovery after a solid work out. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase stress hormones and decrease the production of glycogen – side effects that will slow our recovery.

2. HYDRATION/NUTRITION – During a workout we lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes which we need to replace to perform at our best. The body is made up of 70% of water, so to operate efficiently and effectively we need to make sure that we have enough water in our system.

We need to have the correct nutritional balance to recover from training. Correct nutrition will help with a) repairing the body from the stressors we have placed on it, and b) prepare us for the next training session.

3. PROMOTE BLOOD FLOW – In a nutshell, we need to get oxygen to our muscles so that they can recover.  Blood carries oxygen to our muscles. Therefore, we need to increase our blood flow to the muscles for effective muscle recovery. There are numerous ways to promote blood flow including compression garments, hot and cold water recovery (like athletes do) and the easiest and most cost-effective way – simply moving around. Going for a light walk, a slow jog and doing the same movement patterns you performed in your workout with a lower intensity and lighter weights.

Muscle recovery is important. The quicker you are able to train at 100% after your previous workout the quicker you are going to be able to achieve your fitness goals!

By Michael Murphy