Maintaining all aspects of health is important in life because good overall health promises improved quality of life, career, productivity, mental health, and overall well-being. You have more time to spend with your family because you are healthy, physically and mentally.
One way to maintain health is to give your body a daily boost of muscle contraction, weight or pressure, and breathing exercises. However, intense exercises can lead to muscle fatigue and muscle pain. And that’s when muscle recovery can help.
In this article, you’ll learn the importance of muscle recovery after intense workout or training.
What Is Muscle Recovery?
Muscle recovery pertains to the period when the muscles are given enough time to repair themselves and build strength again. It usually takes 24 to 48 hours. Working your tired muscles may lead to tissue breakdown. That’s why muscle recovery period is critical.
Allow Muscle Repair
The main goal of muscle recovery after intense exercise is to allow the muscles to be repaired, engaging sore muscles. During the muscle recovery stage, there are things you can do to move to the process smoother for optimum muscle performance.
Here are some of the muscle recovery therapies you can try:
- Contrast Therapy: Athletes are familiar with contrast therapy for muscle recovery. As the term used, it involves contrasting ice and hot shower. The procedure starts with an ice bath for 45 seconds, then a hot shower for three to four minutes, and ends with an ice bath. Contrast therapy is repeated three times to help increase muscle blood flow and hasten lactic acid removal.
- Myofascial Release: Myofascial release is an alternative medicine therapy useful in the treatment of muscle pain and skeletal muscle immobility. It helps relax contracted muscles and improve lymphatic circulation, blood flow, and tissue and muscle oxygenation.
Promote Good Muscle Function
Muscle recovery is a vital factor in promoting good muscle function. Because it prevents muscle fatigue, muscle fibers tend to repair themselves for optimum functioning with the help of nutrients obtained from food and supplements.
Check out some helpful muscle recovery techniques to promote good muscle function:
- Take Enough Rest: While you want to maximize your training hours to build your muscles or increase your endurance, rest and sleep are important to get your body to quickly recover from intense training. Workout routines can be physically and mentally demanding, and one of the best ways to rejuvenate is to get enough rest and sound sleep, most especially at night.
- Proper Eating and Hydration: When the body is well hydrated, the muscles are provided with adequate nutrients. When hydration falls, nourishment also follows. While food restores your energy supply, water carries nutrients. Water is the medium for proper nutrient transport in the skin, muscles, joints, bones, and other organs in the body so that you can perform at your best.
- Get a Relaxing Massage: Massage helps loosen up tired muscles. Also, it increases blood circulation and oxygenation of cells, tissues, and organs in the body. Massaging the muscles also help in nutrient delivery from the body to the muscles.
Avoid or Treat Muscle Fatigue
Muscle fatigue is a common symptom that decreases the ability of the muscles to perform over time, which is associated with exhaustion following exercise or strenuous activity. This muscle condition involves a decreased force of muscle movement that causes a person to feel weak. One way to prevent muscle fatigue is undergoing muscle recovery smoothly.
The possible causes of muscle fatigue aside from intense physical activity may include anemia, dehydration, mineral deficiency, and poor muscle tone due to existing medical condition. The signs and symptoms of muscle fatigue may include soreness of the muscles, muscle cramps, localized pain, muscle twitching, a weak grip, and trembling.
Shortness of breath may also manifest in severe conditions. If difficulty breathing is experienced while performing daily tasks, seek medical attention immediately because it could be a symptom of a more serious medical condition.
The following are the recommended treatment for muscle fatigue, which are also used during muscle recovery:
- Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet.
- Stretch before and after any strenuous activity. By warming up, it can loosen muscles and protect it against injury.
- Hot and cold therapy can help reduce discomfort and inflammation.
- Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory and other medications if other medical conditions are ruled out.
Muscle recovery is important after intense exercise or any physical activity for optimum muscle function and health. Also, muscle recovery is vital to avoid or treat muscle fatigue. Muscle recovery involves combining proper rest and sleep, healthy eating, good exercise practices, and recommended therapies.