We all love a workout that makes us work for it, and I’m sure if you are like me, then that little part in your brain won’t let you pass up an opportunity to dig a nice big hole for you to lie in!
Want to get back on the horse as fast as you can?
Of course, you do! You’re a Dark Horse!!
Here are the four “supercharge” strategies you can implement to help with your recovery.
If these don’t come as a surprise, that makes me smile because you know the importance of recovery and are making head roads on your journey.
With that, please don’t underestimate the importance of each one, and it’s always worth evaluating these frequently.
Water provides many benefits for your body, including carrying nutrients and oxygen and regulating body temperature.
Without proper hydration, it’s difficult for your body to normalise blood pressure and stabilise your heartbeat. You know this feeling if you’ve tried this workout I Challenge You to a Race: Home Rowing HIIT Workout *hint – you need to work if you’re going to catch Shane.
Generally, aiming to replace 150% of the fluid lost during exercise will ensure you are rehydrated and ready to train again.
If you want to get technical, you will need to weigh yourself immediately before and after your training session, however for a recreational exerciser, a good target is about 16 oz per hour of exercise.
Bonus tip: Adding electrolyte tablets or powders to your water can promote your hydration levels, including essential electrolytes often lost through sweat.
Whilst nutrition as a topic can lead you down some pretty weird and wonderful pathways, when it comes to recovery, you must consume both carbohydrates and protein for muscle replenishment and repair.
Foods like pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread are high in carbohydrates and are essential for replenishing your energy stores after exercise. At the same time, foods like meats, eggs, dairy, seafood, and tofu are all high in protein and essential for muscle recovery and repair from exercise.
The key is finding a balance between the calories you burn and those you choose to replenish your body with post-exercise. Therefore, aim to give your body food that will provide energy and nutrients to facilitate muscle building and recovery.
If you are in the Dark Horse Crew, you’ll know my golden rule regarding recovery and how sleep is your supercharger for this.
What’s the rule?
Simple, if you are training hard for 1 hour per day, you need to add one hour to that eight as a baseline, and get that added time to compensate for the stress you put onto your body.
I know I’m a harsh taskmaster.
However, sleep is critical as it is the only time we can down-regulate the systems of the body and allow your body to repair its muscle tissue. Hormone production increases during sleep, which is the basis for allowing you to perform better the next day. Honestly, I know we can all get by with less, but it will not help your recovery (sorry!!)
If you need help achieving this, try this workout before bed (yep, you heard me). Get all your chores done, put in your headphones and down-regulate to this before you hit the hay 20-MINUTE Beginner Flexibility Routine (FOLLOW ALONG)
Not to be underestimated, massage isn’t just for smashing all the knots that training and life build; it’s also an excellent way of offsetting muscle soreness after a workout.
Specifically, a Swedish massage will help increase blood flow, aid in the drainage of the lymphatic system and reduce the feeling of fatigue. All pretty amazing things when you want to aid your bodies recovery.
After each workout, I spend 15-20 minutes doing self-massage work with a lacrosse ball or foam roller. That Swedish massage, however, is my once-a-month treat that’s a reset for what I’ve done in that time with training.
There you have it! Four supercharged recovery strategies and how to use them when you have put the work in on your workouts.