As instructors or personal trainers you regularly get people telling you that their bodies hurt and ache so much after their gym sessions or classes. We are going to take a look at effects on the body post workout and ways in which you can help your body recover.
DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Firstly a lot of people may have experienced and may regularly experience it. For those of you that are not familiar with the concept of DOMS, it is delayed onset muscle soreness. What does it feel like? Well DOMS is the pain and stiffness that is felt in the body’s muscles after a workout; it can be felt for 24 to 72 hours up to days after a workout for someone that may be unaccustomed or a person that has undertaken a strenuous workout. What creates the DOMS effect? It is created by muscle lengthening exercises or exercises that place severe tension on muscles and are repeated numerous times causing muscle fibre breakdown.
Methods to help you recover after your workout
Replace Lost Fluids
When we exercise we sweat which means we lose fluid from our body that we need to replace. Replacing your lost fluids is key to preventing dehydration and helping your muscles and speeding up your recovery time. Replacing lost fluids will help to prevent you from muscle cramp, dizziness, lightheaded feeling and nausea. On daily basis we should be consuming an intake of 3 litres of water for men and 2.0 litres of water for women per day, via food and drink consumption. It is suggest that 70-80% of your daily water intake should come from drinks.
Eat Healthy Recovery Foods
Some people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but studies have shown that what you eat after you work out can be just as important if not more important. When we workout we break down both muscle fibres and red blood cells. So what you put back into your body after you workout can determine the effects felt post exercises. Effectively after a workout you want to replenish your energy stores, maintain muscle and repair any damage caused by your workout.
Rest & Relax
After a training session go and put your feet up and allow your body to repair its self. Makes sure you get a good night’s sleep.Your muscles needs this to repair itself.
When we workout lactic acid builds up in our muscles. This can lead to feeling fatigued and soreness in our muscles. Stretching after a workout can help to reduce fatigue and muscle soreness. After a workout out you should static stretch as part of your cool down. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes after you’ve finished a tough workout. You should be stretching your body’s major muscles. Here is a list of the major muscles you need to stretch after your workout…
Core and Back
Foam rollers are a great piece of kit that can help you to get rid of those tight knots in your muscles and return normal blood flow to the area. They are something that a lot of people love to hate as it can be particularly painful on certain areas of the body. We are commonly asked when is the best time to use one of these, for some people they may use them after a workout other use them before and some people use them before and after every workout. Ideally you should use the foam roller before exercise use it after exercise then you should then stretch after that. Using a foam roller as part of a warmup helps to get the blood flowing before you start a workout (it should be done first before any stretching or cardio). Foam rolling at the end of the workout helps to flush out blood that has pooled in the working muscles, fresh nutrients and oxygen to come in. This then allows for the muscles to begin the recovery process. For a deeper tissue massage to get into the knots in and around muscles a ridged foam roller would be highly recommended.