Most athletes have a love hate relationship the following days after a grueling workout. Your body is so sore it hurts to sit and walk, but it’s so gratifying knowing you pushed your limits.
Regardless of your feelings, post-exercise recovery is just as crucial as the exercise itself. Here are ten ways that I recover after an intense workout, whether it be lifting, swimming, cycling, or running.
I always finish up a workout with a protein shake. When I have the time, I’ll turn it into a smoothie with spinach, bananas, and strawberries.
Stretch and Foam Roll
For those that aren’t familiar with foam rollers, you can find one here. It is a cylinder of compressed foam which you use for a self-massage. It improves my muscle soreness and mobility tremendously and allows me to perform better in following workouts.
Foam rolling can also be used as an excellent warm-up, but I find it to be one of the best tools an athlete can use for recovery and mobility.
Hydrate with Electrolytes
On long workouts where I sweat a lot, in taking electrolytes is key to feeling healthy and recovering.
Although filled with sugar, I have always loved Powerade. There are other options out there with less sugar and more healthy ingredients.
When I cycled across America, we usually spent 10-12 hours on the bike daily, our last day racking up over 160 miles through the California desert, nearby Death Valley.
Every day would close with an ice bath. I reserve the ice bath treatments for my hardest workouts, as I’m not a massive fan of the cold!
A Quality Meal
One of my most beloved post-workout traditions, I always eat a nice, filling meal filled with veggies, protein, and occasionally carbs. Focus on quality sources of clean protein and fresh vegetables.
Netflix and Chill
Relax and reward yourself…
Sleep Eight Hours
One of the most overlooked factors of recovery is sleep. Make it a priority to schedule eight hours of sleep into your schedule. If in the first night you don’t get it, try and make up for it the next night. It makes a massive difference.