Rest days are extremely important to foster strength and boost recovery of our muscles. Skipping rest days and overexerting our bodies only leads to an increased risk of serious injury.
The three essential components to reaching your fitness goals include diet, exercise, and the recovery period, with many often making mistakes when it comes to carrying out proper muscle recovery.
Do’s and Don’ts of Muscle Recovery
Here are a few tips on what to do and what not to do during the muscle recovery period:
Do consume lots of protein.
Protein is essential when it comes to muscle recovery. Foods rich in proteins help to repair and rebuild muscles, making them stronger in the process. The trick here is to stimulate protein synthesis in order to restore energy and glycogen levels.
Don’t indulge in sugar and junk.
As tempting as sugar is, stay away from sugary foods or junk food a.k.a. anything that is processed. Consuming too much sugar will only increase symptoms of inflammation and impair muscle recovery.
Additionally, unhealthy food is known to increase the risk of diseases and is simply harmful to your overall health.
Do engage in workouts that target all your muscles.
As you work on strength training and muscle building exercises, make sure to perform movements that work on all the muscles in your body, and not just your biceps and triceps.
Your back, legs, chest, and shoulders should be worked on in order to build muscle effectively and experience efficient muscle recovery.
Don’t skip stretching exercises.
Most of us often neglect pre-workout and post-workout stretching without realizing how important these exercises are for muscle recovery and avoiding injury.
Stretching exercises help to open up and contract the muscles, therefore, relaxing and easing them from any tension. Your body will benefit from the reduced cholesterol and you may even experience reduced soreness from your workout.
Do get lots of sleep.
There is so much importance put on getting quality sleep because our body heavily relies on the repair and rejuvenation process that occurs during sleep. Sleep helps to refresh the mind and body so that you can perform at your best the following day.
Lack of sleep will only negatively impact your physical and mental health and will leave you feeling fatigued or weak during your workouts. Irregular sleeping patterns and low quality sleep also impact your performance during your day-to-day responsibilities.
Don’t overtrain and overexert yourself.
While we all want to push ourselves to the limit and challenge our overall fitness, there are certain boundaries we need to be aware of, especially when it comes to our health.
If you put too much stress on your body, you will only create problems for yourself in the future. We need to let our muscles relax and take a couple of days off in order to come back stronger than ever and ready to push through future workout routines.
1. How many days of rest is recommended for muscle recovery?
Incorporating rest days in-between your workouts is essential for muscle recovery and mental health. Try to take at least 1 – 2 days of rest to give your muscles the time they need to recoup and relax.
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Boldt, E. (2017, July 31). Do’s and Don’ts of Muscle Recovery. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/muscle-recovery/
S. (2018, March 19). 8 Ways To Maximize Your Post-Workout Recovery. Retrieved from https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/8-ways-to-maximize-your-post-workout-recovery.html