As people become increasingly aware of health and fitness, different forms of exercise have become popular, such as boxing, yoga, running, and biking. There are also those who frequent gyms to lift weights to build muscles. Despite the routine, many workout-holics are not really fully aware of how muscles grow.
They say ‘no pain, no gain,’ and this is true with muscles as well. Our muscles become sore after workouts because they incur microscopic tears in the process. The more we work out, the more tears our muscles have. This is the first step in the muscle building process.
The next step is the critical part of muscle building: muscles need to recover so that they can regenerate, bulk up, and tone, or else you lose the health benefits of muscle mass, andthis could also lead to injuries. Here are simple tips to ensure that you make the most of every workout:
1. Play it cool. Cooling down muscles after a workout reduces inflammation, soothes soreness and helps in the recovery process. Use ice packs to relieve post-workout pain in specific areas; or do a general cool down with an ice bath.
2. Beef up. Protein builds muscles, but only if they’re complete proteins such as those found in eggs, meat, fish, and dairy products. Make sure you include carbs as well post-workout, as your body will tap into your muscles for energy if you don’t have enough reserves.
3. Pay the PRICE if you are truly sore. PRICE means Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. While stressing your muscles can aid in workouts, not listening to your body can result in injuries. Even the most committed workout-holics need to take a break every once in a while.
4. Get enough sleep. Recovery = Sleep, so to recover completely, you must sleep adequately, at approximately six to eight hours a day.
5. Replenish fluids and electrolytes. Dehydration is not only draining, it’s also dangerous. Aside from recovery, hydration also keeps you healthy, especially after a workout. Replacing lost fluids not only freshens you up, but also stabilizes blood volume. While water by itself is good, an isotonic drink such as 100PLUS can help replenish lost liquids and nutrients, including sodium, faster than ordinary water. If faster recovery is what you aim for, 100PLUS is the way to go.
Make the most of your exercise routine by following these 5 important steps. Remember, letting the body rest and nourishing it after a workout is just as important as the workout itself.