Here is a question that came to our e-mail recently:
“I am hoping you can help … As you know I really enjoy working out. I run and lift weights 5-6 days a week. But lately my body feels lethargic, my muscles feel tense, and it's taking me longer to get over the post workout soreness. Do you have any tips for what I can do?”
Yes! We hear this all the time, especially from clients in their 40's, 50's, and 60's as they continue their "typical" exercise routine, but it starts to no longer feel "normal" to their bodies. The last thing we want you to do is stop doing these activities that are such an important part of your lifestyle.
We CAN stop your muscles from screaming! We CAN help you recover faster!
Here are 8 things you can do starting TODAY:
1. Keep Moving
Getting up and just moving around once an hour will increase blood flow and improve circulation to aid in muscle recovery. Your joints and muscles will start to feel stiff if you sit for more than an hour. So don't workout and then spend the rest of your Saturday on the couch. Our bodies are meant to move and when we don’t, our bodies like to tell us about it!
Proper nutrition will facilitate muscle recovery. Every individual has different needs, just as every workout regimen has different demands on the body. You will need to do some work to find out what is best for your body and activity level. If you want to leave out the guess work and hours of your own research, contact our Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist for some guidance.
3. Adequate Sleep
Your body needs adequate sleep to properly recover from your work-outs. Neglecting sleep can lead to poor recovery, increased stress on the body, and higher risk of injury. Most experts agree the average adult needs 6-8 hours of quality sleep. You may need more if you are training at high intensities or have a physically demanding job.
4 . Stretching
Performing stretches correctly and daily can decrease muscle tension and tightness. Other benefits include improving circulation, elongating muscle tissue, improving flexibility, and promoting muscle recovery. All of these result in decreased risk of injury at your next training session.
Soft tissue techniques like mobilization and massage promote increased blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, decrease the presence of trigger points, and facilitate muscle recovery. Therapeutic massage will help your muscle be ready for your next training session more quickly, because waste products are removed and essential nutrients flood the muscle tissue.
6. Warm Bath
A warm water can improve circulation and certain essential oils like juniper berry and lavender can ease muscle tension and promote muscle relaxation. I recommend adding some Epsom Salt to increase intracellular magnesium concentration that will result in further relaxation and muscle recovery.
You need to take in a minimum of ½ your body weight in ounces – if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces of water per day. If you wait until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Eating soups or high-water content foods like watermelon can also help you to stay hydrated. Additional hydration may be needed during strenuous workouts or in hot and humid weather. This is where an electrolyte replacement drink may be appropriate. Our Favorite. . . REHYDRATE.
8. Hands On Physical Therapy
You don’t have to be in pain to see a licensed physical therapist. Our movement specialists understands how the body moves and recovers. They can help you prevent injuries, decrease your pain and/or soreness, and improve how you move so that you can recover faster and keep pace at your next work-out.
If you try the first 7 steps and still have difficulty recovery from your work-outs, then request a FREE phone consultation with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy. You can do that by filling out a short form HERE.
In conclusion, no matter your age, stage, or activity level, you can move better and with greater ease. You can continue the activities and lifestyle you love for many years to come.
Take care of your body and it will take care of you!