Starting a new workout regime can be incredibly exhilarating, as well as a huge mood-booster. Becoming physically fit has been seen to have benefits to both our physical and mental health, which can help give us a great sense of renewal.
Working out, whether you choose to work on your cardio or strength-building, can be quite strenuous on your muscle groups. Many find, particularly in the beginning of their workout sessions, that they spend the next few days feeling a little achy and tight. If you’re concerned about looking after your muscles after a workout, what can be done to ensure you don’t hurt yourself, or indeed your muscles?
Once you’ve finished an exercise session, one of the most important things you can do for your muscle health is to cool down properly. Whether this is an energetic walk after a run or stretching to your muscles after weight training, you should take anywhere up to 20 minutes to cool your body back down. This helps prevent that stiff, uncomfortable feeling you might experience the next day after an intense workout.
Take regular breaks
In the same way that you shouldn’t crash-diet to lose tonnes of weight, neither should you impulsively exercise day after day. Giving yourself time to recover is hugely important when it comes to exercising regularly. It gives your muscles time to rest, and the rest of your body. There’s nothing more defeating than returning to your exercise routine, only to find that you’re too tired to complete it.
Ensure you are getting the right nutrition
Hopefully, with a new workout comes an improved diet. Of course, it’s important to ensure that you are consuming a healthy balance of fruit, vegetables, lean meats or protein, and carbohydrates. Protein, when it comes to working out, is particularly vital. Protein helps to heal and build muscle, which will help you to achieve a leaner physical appearance if this is what you’re after.
Those who are undergoing particularly strenuous workouts might want to opt for protein powders and supplements to help them build the necessary muscle mass, or indeed just help their muscle to heal after strength-training. Nutritional supplements for cramps may also help for short-term cramping problems.
While it’s important to build on your protein levels after heavy workouts, it’s also crucial that you don’t start skipping on carbohydrates. Trendy diets are all well and good in the short-term, but leaving out major food groups from your diet after vigorous exercise might be incredibly dangerous. Carbohydrates are fuel for your body and should be paired with a healthy amount of protein.
Without taking time to care for your muscles, exercise can take a sizeable toll on your body. If you are aspiring to a particular level of strength or muscle mass, it is important that you don’t punish your muscles by not resting, warming up, or warming down. Healthy nutrition and supplements can also help you to heal and build on muscle, which should be paired with plenty of time to rest.