In a perfect world, we’d end every workout feeling energised, hydrated and with our muscles already recovered and fresh for the day.
However, as we’re not superhero’s and most of us live busy lives, it’s important for us to ensure proper recovery after workouts.With the fact that most of us aren’t on any pro hours, here’s a few tips from our good friends at GU Energy that won’t take up a heap of time and leave you late for work!
Stretch and roll – 10 minutes
The first and most important thing you should do following a workout is stretch while your muscles are still warm. This helps move into recovery mode and should prevent muscles from locking up later in the day. Stretching also promotes an active range of motion and increased flexibility. Rolling out assists blood flow and reduces muscle tissue adhesions. Dedicate at least five minutes of stretching after your workout and five minutes of rolling with a massage ball, foam roller, or with a massage stick. Keep a spare roller and stick in your trunk so you don’t have an excuse.
Refuel for recovery – within your 30-minute window
Make sure to eat shortly after your workout. The ideal window for your muscles to absorb nutrients is within 30-60 minutes. Refuel as you stretch and roll. This will help speed recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and help you feel better during the day and feel better before your next workout. If you train or are racing a distance away from your home, pack a small cooler, a snack bag, or having protein powder (check out our GU Recovery Drink online) in your car is an easy way to ensure you’ll be able to refuel no matter where you are. Pair this with a piece of fruit to recover on the go!
Whilst you will have been ensuring you were hydrated during exercise (see our other piece on hydration), topping up afterwards is important too. Level up your water with some added electrolytes to replace those lost, plus help you hold your hydration better.
Change of clothes, rest and relax
Keep a spare set of clothes in your car, or a training bag, so you can change out of sweaty exercise gear and into something dry and warm (particularly if the weather isn’t great). Compression garments are a good choice too. This will help keep your muscles warm and help start the recovery process well. Plus, you’ll just feel better mentally too. Then rest up and let the body repair and recover at a natural pace. Feet up.
Other top tips for in the car:
- Body wipes to freshen up
- Thongs or other shoes
- A dry bag to store sweaty/smelly training clothes
- And an extra drink bottle.