I am a proclaimed dance-a-holic. While in the moment on the dance floor, the music transcends me to another dimension of joy and suddenly hours can fly by. However, the next day, no matter how good of shape I think I am in, I experience aches and pains, usually waking up to stiffness and tension.
Working out is key to health and longevity. And the proper workout recovery, you can help minimize the day after pain of a vigorous workout. Six tips to post workout recovery:
1. Cool down. Seems obvious but how often do you remember to do this? Medical News Today’s article says, “A few minutes of mild activity after an exercise session allows the heart rate and breathing to slow down gradually and aids recovery of muscle tissue and the cardiovascular system.”
2. Stretch. Thinking? “No duh?” I’m a yoga teacher but even after a night of dance I forget to stretch. Medical News says, “Gently stretching muscles that were particularly active during exercise helps them relax.”
3. Drink water. When I dance, I sweat more than I’d like to admit. And although I drink water, the next morning I have an intense thirst indicating that I’ve gotten dehydrated. Medical News says, “It’s recommended that people weigh themselves before and after vigorous or prolonged exercise. The weight loss is the amount of water lost through perspiration. For each pound lost, drink about two cups of water or a sports drink.”
4. Refuel. This one didn’t give me the duh factor, not sure about you. Medical News says, “The muscles and liver are most ready for replenishment immediately after exercise. Within 30 minutes of exercise, consume some form of carbohydrates, such as a glass of juice or a piece of fruit, as well as a moderate amount of protein. These help jump-start the replenishment of energy stores and the building and repair of muscle tissue. Replenishment doesn’t have to be in the form of energy drinks. A recent study found that low-fat chocolate milk which contains carbohydrates and proteins works just as well or better.”
5. Apply ice. Ten minutes with an ice pack on problem areas does wonders for inflammation and recovery. My foot and knee both give me problems because of the intense repetition and spinning in salsa dancing. When I regularly ice the problem areas, my recovery is quick and my pain is almost eliminated.
6. Soak. This one I added as my personal muscle saving tip. After a vigorous night of dance, I soak in an Epson’s salt bath. The warm water with magnesium calms the muscles and relaxes you to sleep more soundly and wake with less pain.
Do you have any post work out tips? Please share in the comments section here.
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