How To Relax After An Intense Workout
Workouts can be amazing and leave you feeling pumped, excited, and great all over, especially mentally. It does not take long after your workout though to realize that going so hard at the gym left your body feeling sore and hurting in different places, making it nearly impossible to let your muscles relax and start to heal. So, you start looking for ways to get rid of your sore muscles; there is always the traditional methods of stretching and using foam rollers or heat, but there are actually several interesting ways to help your muscles relax after a tough workout and get you feeling physically relaxed, healed, and ready to sink into your comfortable latex bed to sleep off the day and get ready for the next day’s gym session. Adding in a bunch of these techniques can help keep your body from wearing out and will also keep you from getting injured or experiencing chronic tightness in your muscles every time you workout or finish a workout in the long run.
1.) Incorporate Casein protein
You may have a favorite post-workout protein shake that you love and makes you feel better, but if your post-workout shake does not have casein protein in it, then you are missing out on the full effects that you could be getting. Casein protein is designed to work with your body and it gives a slowly times release to help relieve sore muscles on a regular basis. This protein is slowly digested by the stomach and goes out into your body and into the blood over a long period of time of about six hours or more. This means that even when you finally get to get in your comfortable bed and go to sleep after a long day, casein protein is still being released into your muscles and helping them recover overnight so that you are ready for another workout the next morning.
2.) Start doing total water immersion
Water is one of life’s greatest healers. Getting into a pool, floating in the deep end, and allowing all of your muscles to completely relax is one of the best feelings in the world. But water not only feels good, it is scientifically healing. According to a professional physical therapist, Nicholas Licameli, using water immersion through the use of ice baths or hot tubs can actually help the muscles heal and rejuvenate themselves much faster than usual. It helps get rid of soreness and allows you to continue performing at the top of your game. Professionals recommend that you submerge yourself all the way to your shoulders so that each muscle group is able to relax and be restored.
3.) Deep breathing does more than just improve your lungs
After you go for a hard workout, your body is sending a lot of signals and chemicals throughout that signal it to be awake and alert with adrenaline rushing through. This is not a bad thing, but after you work out hard you need to be able to tell your body to go into rest and recovery mode. This is where deep breathing and meditation comes in. Practicing deep breathing will increase the parasympathetic nervous system in your body which tells it that it is time to rest and start recovering while simultaneously telling the body to come out of the flight or fight activity. Deep breaths, when done properly, also get more oxygen to each muscle group which promotes healing and restoration and leaves you less prone to soreness or getting an injury.
4.) Add in some light cardio
It may sound counterproductive but studies show that one of the best ways to recover from an intense workout is to perform 15-20 minutes of very light cardio such as slow jogging or walking. This allows your body and your heart rate to come down slowly and keeps the muscles loose while it does. Instead of stopping abruptly, slow down and ease into a slower pace until your heart rate is normal again.
When you put all of these methods and more together, you are less prone to getting an injury and you can fight off soreness easily and painlessly. You will be able to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for another intense workout the next day!