Updated: 2022, Jul 24

15 Tips You Should Know When Recovering From Exercise

Consider adding these 15 recovery tactics to your regular workout sessions.

It’s no secret that exercise is good for you. Doctors and health professionals have been recommending physical activity for years to improve overall health and well-being.

15 Tips You Should Know When Recovering From Exercise
Tips to Speed Recovery After Exercise. Image/Shutterstock

However, many people don’t realize there are specific guidelines to follow when recovering from exercise.

If you’re unsure what those are or need a refresher course, read on. Below we will outline 15 tips you should know when recovering from exercise.

1. Get Plenty of Rest

The first and most important thing to do when recovering from exercise is to get plenty of rest. This means getting enough sleep at night and taking breaks during the day to rest your body.

Exercise can tax your body, and it needs time to recover and repair itself. Without adequate rest, you risk injuring yourself or becoming ill.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Another vital aspect of recovering from exercise is eating a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods helps your body repair muscle tissue and replenish energy stores.

It’s also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. You can stay hydrated with Tailwind products with electrolytes to help you recover faster.

3. Do a Cool-Down

After a strenuous workout, it’s essential to do a cool-down. This involves gradually reducing your level of activity and heart rate.

A cool-down helps your body transition from exercise mode to rest mode and can prevent dizziness or lightheadedness. It also helps to prevent soreness by flushing out lactic acid from your muscles.

4. Stretch or Foam Roll

Stretching or foam rolling after exercise helps lengthen your muscles and improve your range of motion. This can aid in recovery by reducing stiffness and soreness.

Stretch or Foam Roll
Foam Roll. Image/Shutterstock

Foam rolling is especially beneficial as it helps to release knots and tension in your muscles.

5. Take an Ice Bath

Taking an ice bath after exercise can help to reduce inflammation and soreness. It’s thought that the cold temperature helps to constrict blood vessels, which reduces swelling.

Ice baths are most effective when taken within the first few hours after exercise. If you’re not a fan of cold water, you can also use a bag of frozen peas or ice packs wrapped in a towel.

6. Get a Massage

Getting a massage is another excellent way to reduce soreness and promote recovery. Massage can help increase blood flow and circulation, speeding up the healing process.

Massage. Image/Shutterstock

It can also help to release knots and tension in your muscles. If you don’t have time for a professional massage, you can try using a foam roller or lacrosse ball.

7. Drink Chocolate Milk

Drinking chocolate milk after exercise may sound like a treat. Still, it’s an effective way to replenish lost electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Combining these nutrients helps improve recovery by replenishing energy stores and repairing muscle tissue. Chugging a glass of chocolate milk after your next workout may become your new favorite recovery method.

8. Take Supplements

There are many different supplements on the market that claim to improve recovery. However, not all of them are backed by science.

Creatine and branch chain amino acids are two effective supplements in reducing soreness and promoting muscle growth. You can also try supplementation with protein or omega-3 fatty acids.

9. Use a Recovery Tool

Many different recovery tools are available, such as compression socks, massage guns, and foam rollers.

Using these tools can help improve blood circulation, reduce soreness, and release muscle knots and tension. Experiment with different recovery tools to see what works best for you.

10. Get Adequate Sleep

Last but not least, it’s crucial to get adequate sleep when recovering from exercise. Rest is when your body repairs muscle tissue and replenishes energy stores.

It’s also when your body releases the human growth hormone responsible for muscle growth and regeneration. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

11. Listen to Your Body

Recovering from exercise is important, but it’s also important not to overdo it. If you’re sore or tired, take a day or two off training to rest and recover.

Mind Body
Mind Body. Image/Shutterstock

It’s also essential to warm up properly before exercise and cool down afterward. Warming up and cooling down helps your body transition from exercise mode to rest mode and can prevent injuries.

12. Try Active Recovery

Active recovery is a type of exercise that is used for recovery purposes. It involves doing low-intensity activities such as walking or light jogging.

Active recovery helps increase blood flow and circulation, speeding up the healing process. It’s also a great way to stay active when feeling sore or tired.

13. Eat a Recovery Meal

Eating a recovery meal within 30 minutes of exercise can help replenish lost nutrients and improve recovery.

A recovery meal should include carbohydrates and protein in a 4:1 ratio. Good options include a banana with peanut butter or a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

14. Avoid Alcohol

Drinking alcohol after exercise can hinder your recovery. Alcohol dehydrates your body and can prevent your muscles from repairing themselves.

It can also interfere with your sleep, which is essential for recovery. If you’re going to drink alcohol, do it in moderation and make sure to stay hydrated.

15. Take a Recovery Day

A recovery day is when you take it easy and allow your body to recover from exercise.

On a recovery day, you should avoid strenuous activity and focus on lighter exercises such as walking or stretching. Recovery days are just as important as workout days, so schedule them into your training program.

There you have it! Fifteen tips to help you recover from exercise. Remember, recovery is just as important as the workout itself. So make sure to give your body the time and attention it needs to recover properly.

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Suren (Kanchanavaleerat) Chiu, RDN, LDN, CPT

Suren Chiu is a clinical dietitian in an outpatient care setting. She has a background in fitness and weight loss. She counsels patien

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