We all know that waiting for your muscles to recover can take time. It can be a matter of a few days or months. For some, the muscle pain might even extend to more, becoming a chronic hassle to deal with every day.
Fortunately, there are a lot of methods on how to speed up your recovery. Among the overwhelming videos, blogs, and other pieces of advice you can find online, we’ve picked out the top 5 tried-and-tested ways on accelerating your muscle recovery.
Speed up your muscle recovery with these tips
1. Relieve body aches with a massage gun
If you haven’t heard of them yet, massage guns are the holy grail for athletes and physical therapists. Why is that so?
It’s because a massage gun works with percussive therapy. That means it creates deep-tissue, rhythmic vibrations to loosen up tight knots and relax sore muscles in your body. In fact, a 2014 study found that using a massage gun is as good, if not better, than traditional massage.
Massage guns are best for pre and post-workout sessions before you go to sleep, and whenever the muscle pain hits. A lot of people even use it during work, when their backs are sore from working under their desks for hours.
However, a word of advice: make sure to consult a health professional first before getting your first massage gun. Some health conditions, like pregnancy, will prevent you from using a massage gun for now.
2. Relax with a hot and cold compress
If you’re suffering from tight joints and acute pain, a hot or cold compress can do the trick in helping you bounce back. Aside from helping you relax, researchers found that using a compress can reduce mild to severe pain.
Keep in mind that these are the major differences between a hot and cold compress:
A hot compress promotes blood circulation, relieves muscle stiffness, and fights against long-term chronic pain. On the other hand, an ice-cold compress restricts blood flow, decreases swelling, and deals with acute, short-term pain.
3. Replenish your muscles with good food
It’s no secret that proteins are the building blocks of your muscles. You need it in your daily diet. In a 2019 study, researchers found that protein repairs your muscles and speeds up your recovery.
Aside from that, consuming carbs should be a priority, especially if you exercise more frequently than usual. Carbs are the source of your body’s energy, and you need to replenish your fuel after every workout.
Health experts often recommend these post-workout meals and snacks to replenish your body.
- Greek yogurt
- Whole grain bread and crackers
- Cottage cheese
- Sweet potatoes
- Protein shake
4. Get enough sleep
Aside from getting enough nutrients, rest is an important part of recovery. In a systematic review from 2017, researchers found that poor sleep quality can decrease the performance level and recovery time of athletes.
So, make sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. Here are a few useful tips you can consider to improve your sleep quality.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light at night.
- Don’t consume caffeine too late in the day.
- Consider getting blackout curtains to improve your room’s ambiance while you sleep.
- Consult a physician and see if you can get melatonin, a natural supplement, to improve your circadian rhythm.
5. Stretch your muscles out
Remember, physical exercise doesn’t have to be intense at all times. Taking up a low-impact exercise, like yoga or pilates, can do you more good than you realize.
These types of workouts can stretch out your bones, rehabilitate injured muscles, and help you achieve a better range of motion than before. Stretching also sharpens your mind, helping you with body awareness and balance.
To incorporate this into your routine, get at least a few minutes of stretching in your day. You can stretch up to 5, 10, or more minutes, depending on your schedule.
As long as you get some fitness activity in your day, it’s good enough for your recovery. However, if you do want consistency, reach out to a physical therapist or a fitness trainer to customize a stretching routine for you.
How long does it take to recover sore muscles?
For the most part, muscle recovery will depend on your fitness level and how intense your exercise is.
If you went through a light, low-impact session, your body will probably bounce back from DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, in 24 hours. However, if you did a challenging workout that you’re not familiar with, recovery might take 2 days to a whole week.
For this reason, setting up a complete recovery routine is vital. Getting a massage and eating good food aren’t only self-care; it also helps you recover faster and better than before.
Nowadays, anyone can get a massage gun. But, it takes a good one to see the results you want. If you want a quality massage gun from Australia, try the HYDRAGUN now and see the difference in your recovery pace.