Building muscle requires three equal components: strength training, nutrition and recovery. While most people are familiar with first two components, recovery is more confusing, which is why we’re going to tackle this issue in this week’s blog post.
When you lift weights, small tears form in the muscle fibers. This is actually beneficial, as the muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger than before. But until the muscles have repaired themselves, you’ll need to refrain from pushing your body even further. Constantly going to the gym day after day without giving your body ample time to recover will only hurt your efforts in the long run by slowing your progress. A good rule of thumb is to wait a minimum of 48 hours between strength training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to allow your muscles to repair themselves. In the meantime, though, there are some steps you can take to accelerate the process.
One tip that’s helpful to improve muscle recovery after a workout is to have a massage. Massage therapy — especially deep-tissue — will ease the pain and discomfort associated with sore muscles while subsequently reducing recovery times. To reap the most benefit from massage therapy, focus on muscles that you recently worked out. In addition to easing pain and improving recovery times, massage will also reduce your risk of injury by stretching your muscle fibers.
Another helpful tip is to consume more protein in your diet. Being that protein is the building block for muscles, it should com as little-to-no surprise that this is the single most important nutrient for building and repairing muscles.
A professional chiropractor may also help to improve your muscle recovery times. Using a combination of manual tissue manipulation, massage and spinal adjustments, a chiropractor can ease the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) while also speeding up recovery times. Many people assume chiropractors are only useful for treating back problems, but this isn’t the case. As you can see, people who exercise and work out on a regular basis will also benefit from the services of a chiropractor.
If you’re a bodybuilder or athlete, give us a call. Sign up for an appointment at http://gobepainfree.com/appointments/ or give us a call at 205-424-8400.