Ever since our Peloton arrived in October, I’ve been working on increasing how many times a week I spin. At first I set this monstrous goal of spinning 30 days straight, but quickly realized that I needed to work my way to that because my muscles needed some recovery!
I noticed that I was able to increase my cadence of spin classes by providing my muscles some extra TLC post-workout! I’ve worked myself up to five days a week now and I want to get to six before half marathon training starts.
Today I wanted to share what I’ve been doing in case you’re wanting to speed up the muscle recovery process and get more work outs in. I was really shocked by how much better my body felt with a few simple additions to my work out routine. Less achey muscles, more work outs that I enjoy!
Up until then, I would drink a protein shake right after my work out and do a light stretch, but other than that didn’t do much. But that’s a start, right?!
Disclosure: I have no background in health and science. I work in and have my degree in Marketing! This is simply what has worked for my body. Everyone is different so do your research and also consult your doctor.
5 WAYS TO RECOVER MUSCLES POST-WORKOUT
1. DRINK A PROTEIN SHAKE
Intense exercise puts stress on your body, causing a breakdown in muscles. Consuming protein directly after a workout will optimize muscle repair and promote muscle growth.
Immediately after a workout, our bodies enter a time period called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. I learned this from K+K at Tone It Up!
This process is your body’s metabolism operating at an elevated rate to recover, refuel and adapt to the work that you have just completed. EPOC levels are highest directly after exercise, creating the ideal time frame to have a post-workout drink. source
If you’re A Mix of Min OG reader, you know I love Tone It Up’s protein powder. Here are some reasons why:
- It’s pea protein, so unlike whey it’s gentle and won’t upset my belly.
- The ingredients are things you can actually read and unsderstand. Most protein powders labels have things that looks like this: ajshdjaywuyernr. Lol. TIU’s protein has straightforward ingredients like: pea protein, cacao, monk fruit.
- In addition to the ingredients, the list is minimal. You’ll find only around five to ten ingredients in each flavor.
- The taste is the best out of any regular or vegan protein powders we’ve tried! I suggest using unsweetened almond milk to mix and it tastes like chocolate milk!
I also add in a scoop of collagen powder for some extra nutrients and protein! This is the one I have sued for over two years. Here is a blog post all about collagen.
Peloton actually has more than just spin classes. We have access to thousands of work outs from yoga, guided runs, bootcamps, toning, stretching and more. If you don’t have or want a Peloton spin bike, you can use the digital app for $20 a month for access to all these work outs!
Anyways, I have learned from my girl crush, Robin Arzon, that there are two types of stretching to focus on at certain times:
Pre work out: Dynamic stretching
This is a form of active movement that isn’t about holding a stretch, but rather taking your body through ranges of motion that will better prepare you for your workout.
Basically – move your body, don’t stand and just hold your muscle like we were all taught to do in grade school sports.
Post work out: Static stretching
This means a stretch is held in a challenging, but comfortable position for a period of time – usually between 10 to 30 seconds.
This is the opposite of the above! I didn’t realize that this is best AFTER your work out, not before.
Using the right stretch at the correct time will help your muscles prepare for your work out and repair.
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Foam rollers are affordable and super effective tools for breaking up sore spots and knots in your muscles. This process breaks up scar tissue and knotting in your fascia, which is important because these knots are often the root cause of sore muscles and joints.
I bought this $22 foam roller off Amazon and roll my muscles out while S and I watch TV.
TAKE A BATH
Eeeep. One of my favorite things since owning our home is taking long, warm, relaxing BATHS! We have two baths upstairs, but I’ve sorta turned our guest bath into my own little spa room when we don’t have visitors hehe. In addition to relaxation, warm baths help those muscles!
Heat therapy helps increase blood flow, stimulates healing and relaxes muscles. I found research online that showed heat post-work out has been proven to heal muscles great than icing so that’s the route I have been going. I didn’t need much swaying because chilling muscles in the winter sounds dreadful haha.
You can soothe your muscles even more by adding in some epsom salt. In water, epsom salt breaks down into sulfate and magnesium. The theory is that when you soak in an epsom salt bath, these nutrients get into your body through your skin.
Magnesium sulfate relaxes muscles, so achy, cramped problem areas loosen. Additionally, as your muscles soak in the solution, your blood vessels dilate, releasing some of the built-up waste products in your body.
I use this epsom salt form Amazon.
To make your bath feel and smell even more relaxing, add in a couple drops of this clean beauty body oil. The smell is amazing and you can even use the oil post-bath directly on your skin for hydration.
GET YA SLEEP!
Basic, but important. While you sleep, your brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth which repairs those muscles. Getting those 8 hours of Zzz’s is super important.
I try to get to sleep by 10 to have a full eight hours of rest. I’ve always been an early bird over a night owl. What about you?!
To get my body to sleep, I do a couple things that may be helpful for you as well.
- I make sure our bedroom is tidy because if not, it gives us anxiety! This usually involves me folding and putting away loungewear I left on the floor haha.
- I spray two pumps of this natural sleep pillow spray which is supposed to calm your mind. I feel like I’ve used it so frequently now, that the smell triggers my mind to think ‘time to sleep!’.
- I also read before bed if I’m not sleepy yet because after three pages, I’m ready to pass out. Maybe those will help you too.
- I use this silk pillow case. When your surroundings are relaxing and comfortable, you’re excited to be there. On top of all the beauty benefits [much less frizz on my hair], this pillow case is an every day treat when I hop into bed. It’s the little things, so find your little treat and use it!
PS – If you’re looking for a new read, I just finished this book from Robin Arzon in anticipation for my half marathon in June! It has a lot of great tips and training schedules if you want to start running, are an avid runner or want to improve your race game.
What your favroite way to recover post-workout? Let me know in the comments below! Xo Mindy
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