Before discussing how to speed up our muscle recovery, it would make more sense if we discussed how poor muscle recovery rates affect our fitness goals. On that note, let’s get started with some of the most common effects of poor muscle recovery on fitness enthusiasts.
The Demoralizing Impacts of Poor Muscle Recovery
How often do you take unplanned breaks because of sore muscles and frequent injuries? If you are serious about fitness but have not yet realized how to manage muscle recovery like a pro, then the answer to that question is likely nothing that makes you feel good. It is frustrating and even heartbreaking to exercise hard for a few weeks, only to get pushed back to the starting point after receiving an unexpected new injury, or right after an old one flares up.
Even if you are not overworking your muscles and ligaments to the point of getting injured, you could be facing a completely different and even more common problem altogether. It is possible that you are finding it increasingly taxing on your body to make progress after a certain point. This point of stagnation is known as reaching a “plateau.”
Poor muscle recovery is the singular underlying problem that brings about frequent injuries, sore muscles, and muscular stagnation in most cases. Several other causes can also be held responsible, but they are far less common than the classic problem of poor muscle recovery rate. To address that issue, let’s look at some of the best ways to effectively boost our muscle recovery rate next.
Listen to Your Body
Breaks need to be strategically planned and personalized to allow sufficient recovery time to your muscle groups. For example, if your calves are still quite sore from your last running session, accept the fact that you need a longer break. Pushing a very sore muscle group to further soreness with more intense exercises will have the following effects:
- Your muscle recovery will be further delayed.
- The exercise session will not be productive.
- The rate of recovery for that muscle group will also slow down further.
- Over time, the muscle or the surrounding ligament will be worn out, resulting in a tear.
By allowing more time for the muscle to recover, you will notice that the recovery time is getting shorter after each session. This holds particularly true for beginners and intermediates.
Sleep is as essential as your diet for boosting muscle recovery rate, if not even more so at times. In fact, most of the muscle recuperation we just discussed happens when we sleep. Therefore, longer, deeper, and peaceful sleep naturally and significantly speeds up muscle recovery. There are nutritional supplements like this one from Impossible available nowadays that not only provide our muscles with nutrients they need to recover faster from intense workout sessions, but also aid in directly bringing about restful uninterrupted sleep.
Every time you break down muscle fibers with intense exercise, they are rebuilt stronger than before. However, sufficient hydration is essential so that they can regenerate much faster. Water is also supposed to help move the lactic acid buildup from your sore muscles much faster.
Massage Your Muscles
Gently massage your muscles for a few minutes every day to help the lactic acid buildup to move along. Remember to wait for at least 2 hours before a massage or stretching session. Never try to stretch a muscle right after exercise, as it will still be rigid from the NO pump.
If you are not yet working with a certified fitness trainer, then know that you should. Even through video consultation, they can help you avoid injuries, break through plateaus, and plan your rest days between intense exercise sessions. In case that is not a feasible option for you at this time, don’t worry because there are a lot of free resources to explore on the internet as well.